Clayton County man drowns trying to save father who fell into lake

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — A Clayton County man drowned Monday when he jumped into a lake to save his father who had accidentally fallen in during a father-son fishing trip, according to the Troup County Sheriff's Office.

Jeremiah Israel, 33, and his father, Jeremiah Israel Sr., 64, went fishing late Sunday night on West Point Lake.

Around around 12:30 a.m. Monday, Jeremiah Israel Sr. fell into the water. Jeremiah Israel jumped in to save him, but ended up drowning.

Sheriff's officials said other boaters were able to pull Jeremiah Israel Sr. from the water. He was treated at a hospital and released. Searchers found Jeremiah Israel's body hours later.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings talked with Jeremiah Israel's brother, who said the family needs a lot of prayers.

"He was very loving," Hananiah Israel said. "Whoever he reached out and touched, they're feeling this right now as well."

Hananiah Israel said the world is a bit more dim without his baby brother in it. He said his brother Jeremiah Israel was his sidekick and his best friend.

"He was a great soul. It's just surreal right now," Hananiah Israel said. "He was definitely a hero for what he did, trying to save my dad."

Hananiah Israel said that his father fell asleep on the boat as was disoriented when he woke up.

"He woke up thinking he was at  home," Hananiah Israel said. "He woke up, walked out like he was home in his room or whatever. Walked into the water... and my brother tried to save him. My brother can't swim."


Hananiah Israel said his brother was loving, fun, an avid traveler and music producer. The Israel family is close-knit. Jeremiah Israel was one of five siblings.

"We're all shook up right now ... but we're going to be strong about this," Hananiah Israel said. "Jeremiah, he would want us to be strong. I know how he was. He always had a smile on his face."

Hananiah Israel said that the way his brother died speaks volumes about the kind of person he was.

Coworkers are also mourning Jeremiah Israel's death.

Jeremiah Israel worked for Delta. A spokesperson told Jennings that his work family is heartbroken by the news.

In Jonesboro, Jeremiah Israel's family members are still working out funeral arrangements.

The family is originally from Dayton, Ohio, and just moved here a few years ago.