"He had told me, 'One of us is going to have to go down,' and he made sure it wasn't me," thirteen-year-old Elijah said mourning his brother's demise.
Amari Quarles is now being remembered as a hero by his loved ones. At just 15 years old he jumped in to help his 13-year-old brother Elijah who was struggling in the Sacramento River. The brave teen did so without a moment of hesitation. The two had entered the river on Sunday, June 4, to fetch a football according to the Sacramento Fire Department. Sadly the 15-year-old died during the outing at Sand Cove Park in Sacramento, KCRA 3 reported.
The boys’ mother Yolanda Sashe had also jumped into the river to rescue her boys but was quickly overwhelmed by the current.
“It turned really bad very fast,” she recalled. “It was straight thrashing you back and forth back and forth. You cannot fight. You can’t go against the current…it drags you down." She managed to reach Amari but was unable to save him. "I looked down at him and I looked up and I felt his hands drop,” the grieving mother added of the moment she lost her son. “Something came and pulled him away from me and he was gone.”
Higher water levels, colder water temperatures, and the swift current can make it difficult for anyone. “That river's for nobody,” the boys’ father, James Sashe, said. “If it's hard for them, how do normal people make it?” Some boaters in the area were able to help pull Elijah and his mom to safety. Amari’s body was found by rescue crews a few hours later late Sunday night. “Our trained rescue swimmers were out there and they had to rotate quite frequently,” said Capt. Justin Sylvia from the Sacramento Fire Department. “It gets very tiring when you're out there searching for someone and trying to swim in that current.”
My 15 year old cousin, Amari Quarles, has passed away yesterday at Sand Cove Park in Sacramento, California. He was trying to save his 13 year old brother. He has died a hero. I love you cuz. ❤️ 1/29/08-6/4/23— Riri ♥︎ (@annemarie_sashe) June 5, 2023
A GoFundMe has been set up by the family to help cover funeral and burial costs. "My son died a hero I’m so proud of what he did. Amari was a straight-A student in Natomas High School we just moved to California to be around family. This was an unexpected tragedy and help will be greatly appreciated. My son was a great Son, brother, nephew, grandson, cousin. He is a hero and died a hero," his father wrote. At the time of this publication over $20,000 has been raised for the family.
15-year-old Amari Quarles is being remembered by family as a hero. He died trying to save his brother on the Sacramento River over the weekend. Amari just completed his freshman year at Natomas High School. We’ll have more on his life and how he’s being remembered on @ABC10 at 11 pic.twitter.com/ZtopoEWuub— Elisha Machado (@ElishaMachadoTV) June 8, 2023
"He was an amazing person — his laugh to his jokes," said Arianna Seibert, Amari's cousin per ABC 10. His younger brother Elijah will never forget this moment. "He had told me, 'One of us is going to have to go down,' and he made sure it wasn't me," said Elijah. "It really hurts not seeing him here right now, and it just hurts just speaking about him knowing that I can't turn and hug him. I can't turn and dap him up, do our signature handshake."
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe