A student at the University of Alabama who friends remembered for her “fun-loving" spirit died this week after a nighttime boating excursion turned tragic.
The body of Kirsten Jones, 20, was recovered from Black Warrior River on Thursday morning, two days after she and two friends were involved in a boat accident, AL.com reported.
Jones, a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, was out with a sorority sister and a male friend on Tuesday when their boat went over the river’s dam around 8 p.m. and all three entered the water, her father Thomas Jones told The Tuscaloosa News. He said the incident happened just 10 minutes into their outing.
Jones’ two companions survived, but authorities were unable to find her, AL.com reported.
Divers eventually used sonar and cameras that they put at the bottom of the river to recover her body Thursday morning, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Senior Trooper Freddie Ingram told CBS affiliate WIAT. He also noted that no one on board was wearing a life jacket.
Jones’ death was confirmed in statements both by the University of Alabama and by her sorority, who wrote in a statement that her loss filled them with “unimaginable grief.”
“Kirsten was such a source of light to everyone blessed enough to know her and was an amazing sister and friend,” the sorority wrote. “She was incredibly loved by so many and will be remembered for her fun-loving spirit, laugh, and authenticity. She will be in our hearts forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends during this difficult time. We love you, Kirsten.”
Jones was from Niceville, Florida, and was majoring in health management, with hopes of one day working in a hospital or in the medical field, The Tuscaloosa News reported.
Several GoFundMe pages have emerged, including one that’s raised $25,000 for a memorial service, and another that’s collecting money for her family.
“This is extremely tragic,” Ingram told WIAT. “She’s getting into the prime of her life, going through school, trying to figure out what [she’s] doing with [her] life and the next step, and then something like this happens. It’s a very tragic situation.”
A spokesperson for Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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