“We lost an awesome person,” remembering Hanford senior who went missing in Yakima River
RICHLAND, Wash. – Hanford High students are mourning the loss of a dear friend and incredible teammate, after authorities presume the 18-year-old student drowned in the Yakima River on Memorial Day.
Dmetri Kennedy-Woody was a well-known and well-loved guy at Hanford High. His friend told Action News he was an outstanding athlete in both baseball and football.
Dmetri's presence will be greatly missed in the hallways and on graduation day.
"We lost a really awesome person," said Brock Wellsfry, Dmetri’s good friend and former teammate. "It's a dark day at Hanford."
Police said Dmetri is still missing and presumed dead after he and some friends jumped from a railroad bridge alongside SR 240 into the Yakima River Monday afternoon.
Multiple rescue agencies and divers were in the river for hours searching, but when nothing turned up the search was called off. They continued searching again Tuesday.
Dmetri's mother told Action News the teens were together in the water and were all in trouble in the strong current.
She said one of the friends was holding onto Dmetri and was trying to help him get to shore, but as they were all struggling to stay afloat, Dmetri slipped out of his arms.
A former teammate and good friend of Dmetri, Brock Wellsfry, describes him as a silent leader, an encouraging friend, and he said he'll never forget his infectious smile.
"He was one of the greatest guys you could ever meet. He was a friend to everyone, everyone knew him,” Wellsfry said. “He was an athlete and great at everything he did, football or baseball, whatever he was doing. I feel bad for people who didn't get a chance to know him."
Wellsfry said they were just kids having fun.
"You don’t think that going and having fun is the last thing you're ever going to do," he said.
He hopes the community can come together to support those who Dmetri leaves behind.
"I want everyone to show his family love,” Wellsfry said. “I can't begin to imagine the time they're going through, they had a great son."
A talented athlete, Dmetri received All-MCC football honorable mention and he received All-MCC baseball second team this school year.
Dmetri would have graduated from Hanford High in a matter of days. The Richland School District has made counselors available at HHS.
There will be a candlelight vigil in his honor Tuesday night at their football field.
Divers are continuing recovery efforts and the investigation is ongoing, according to authorities. Richland Police said they will continue searching Wednesday.