Vigil held for US airman from South Florida who died in South Korea

Airman 1st Class Darrick Jones collapsed suddenly, military says

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor , Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A vigil is being held Monday evening for a U.S. airman from South Florida who died last week in South Korea.

Family and friends of Airman 1st Class Darrick Jones are gathering at Miami Southridge High School in honor of the 23-year-old. 

"He was a great guy, very sarcastic," Jones's friend, Ron Hariprashad, said. "But at the end of the day, he was someone that cared and he was always there for people, especially when you opened up to him." 

Jones's family said they still don't know the circumstances surrounding his death.

Jones was assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in 2016. His parents said they didn't think he was in any danger in Anchorage, Alaska.

They said they didn't know the water and fuels systems apprentice was working with a civil engineering squadron, and he was on a temporary assignment to train his South Korean counterparts. According to the military, his death was sudden.

"The grief felt as a result of the loss of Airman 1st Class Jones cannot be overstated," Col. George T.M. Dietrich III, commander of the 673d Air Base Wing, said in a statement.

Jones's relatives said they are confused about the news that he collapsed and died. They remember him being healthy and they weren't aware of any medical condition.  

Before joining the military in 2015, Jones was a runner and a member of National Society of High School Scholars. He also was a member of Miami Southridge High School's cross-country and track team. 

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