SPOKANE, Wash. - Jaspreet Singh Turna was one of the good ones. His friend, Taylor Smith, spoke of him fondly.
"He was he was just so welcoming, right when he met you," Smith said. "He had a way of making you feel comfortable and part of the group."
Jaspreet's sister, Amandeep, said he was was her whole world.
"He embodied intelligence, kind-heartedness, generosity, sweetness, beauty, genuineness, and love. It was impossible not to smile when you saw him. He touched so many people’s lives," she said.
Jaspreet went out to tube the Spokane River with a group of friends, something they done many times before, and the unthinkable happened. Smith was one of the friends in the group.
He said they got to the bridge at People's Park and Jaspreet's tube hit the concrete and flipped.
"One of our party jumped in after him, and caught up to him," Smith said.
The water was too strong, they were not able to save him.
"He couldn't hold on to him anymore, and he had gotten pulled under," Smith said.
When first responders showed up on scene, they performed CPR, but it was too late.
"You never think that something like this could happen, you know, we've floated that same stretch of the river so many times, it's always been fine before, no one had gotten hurt," Smith said.
"We didn't feel like we needed life jackets, but it just takes a few seconds of, of not paying attention for something to go terribly wrong," Taylor warned.
He believes if they had been wearing life jackets, Jaspreet would still be alive.
Jaspreet is of three men who drowned on the Spokane River last week, none of them were wearing life jackets.
"I'm going on thirty years in the fire service. Twenty of those is a fire chief. I have never, ever taken somebody out of a life jacket that died as a result of drowning. It simply doesn't happen in my experience," Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.
Jaspreet's sister is hoping that everyone will learn from this, and take river safety seriously.
“No matter how strong of a swimmer you think you are, the river is stronger. Please always wear a life jacket so that your family may never have to bear the pain of losing you to this tragic, preventable accident," she said.
Jaspreet is survived by his mother, Manjit, and his sister, Amandeep. He was 28 years old.