Community mourns after Brescia University baseball player dies in car crash

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Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:39 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - People in Owensboro are mourning the loss of 19-year-old Jacob Crabtree. The Brescia University sophomore and baseball player died in a car crash Friday.

Deputies say he was driving westbound on Highway 54 near the county line Friday night.

Witnesses say the road was wet from the rain, and Jacob lost control, causing his car to cross into the road sideways.

Another car hit him. Deputies say that driver has non-life threatening injuries.

As Caitlin Crabtree looks at photos and videos of her little brother Jacob, she remembers his bright smile, and hears the sound of the ball hitting the bat.

“A lot of siblings fight a lot, but Jacob and I got along really well, which I’m really thankful for,” Caitlin said.

Caitlin brought Jacob’s family, teammates and coaches together today, to share their fondest memories of him.

“I remember Jacob as a hardworking guy,” said teammate Kendal Kortz. “He always put everyone before himself and just made the best of every situation he could.”

“I remember Jacob as just a goofy kid that always made me smile, even unintentionally,” said teammate Tyler Milby.

Baseball coach Jon Herbig even remembers the first time he met Jacob.

“I stood up out of my desk to shake his hand and I thought, ‘he’s tall, he’s athletic, just wow and for a high school guy,’” Herbig said.

Herbig has had to address his team this week, a group of guys that miss their teammate.

“What we’ve tried to do is talk to them about going through this process, because it is a process,” said Herbig. “It’s not something anybody’s going to wake up and be okay from. I’ve talked to the guys about how it’s going to hit them in waves, it’s going to be a range of emotions.”

“We’ve definitely come together closer, this has brought us together a lot,” said Kortz. “It’s definitely tough, there’s a lot of different emotions, like coach says. Anger, sadness, sometimes you don’t know how to handle them.”

Jacob was studying to be a physical therapist. Upperclassmen say his hard work on the field carried into the classroom.

“He was leaps and bounds of even where I am,” said Milby. “He pushed me to be the best I could be because I knew he was on my coattails the whole time.”

But, being on the field is what he loved most.

“It was such a pleasure to watch him do what he had worked so hard to do,” said Jacob’s mother, Jessica Jones. “He spent hours on his hitting, and making sure he was strong.”

Last week he played his last game. He hit a one for one.

“He truly was such a joy to parent,” said Jones. “His dad and I are so lucky to have had 19 years with him.”

Jacob’s parents have set up a scholarship fund at Daviess County Teachers Federal Credit union.

They hope the money will go to a future Brescia student so Jacob can continue to bless the lives of others.

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