Dad found dead in snowstorm left car to get home to son
LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A Virginia father was found dead after his car got stuck in a snowstorm and he tried to walk home to be with his 2-year-old son and his dogs, his family says.
Jacob Whaley, 34, and his 2-year-old son, Jacob Dawson, had a bond like no other, according to the man’s sister, Angela Whaley.
“They adored each other. They were best friends,” Angela Whaley said. “How do you tell a 2-year-old that his dad is never going to see him again?”
Jacob Whaley’s family says around 8:30 p.m. Monday, the father’s car slid into a ditch during a snowstorm in Hanover County, Virginia. He was about six miles from home and decided to walk there because he wanted to see his son and his dogs.
“He got out of his car because he wanted to go home and be with his dogs. He had visitation with his son. He wanted to go home, so he would be able to see his dogs and his son, even though there was no electricity at home,” Angela Whaley said.
But the temperature dropped to 17 degrees that night, the 34-year-old’s cell phone battery was almost empty and he ended up lost. His family notified the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office with his last known location as shown by his cell phone.
Search parties spent days looking for the father until he was found dead Thursday night more than 200 yards in the woods.
“He was trying to find a path through the woods because there is a neighborhood right across the street from the neighborhood that he lives in that he could’ve gotten to and walked right across the street and would’ve been able to get home,” Angela Whaley said.
Angela Whaley says she’s now holding on to the good memories.
“I would just make sure that he knows I loved him,” she said.
The family set up a fundraiser for Jacob Whaley’s son. It has raised more than $7,000.
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