A Family and a Cast Mourns The Death of a Friend

June 22, 2005--Posted at 10:30 PM CST

JONESBORO--Jacob West was an aspiring young actor. He touched lives and made an impression on everyone he met. Tonight, he is being greatly missed. Life can come to an end at anytime. For 19 year old Jacob West, it was sooner than anyone had imagined.

Play Director Molly Simpson said, "Jake had just finished his freshman year here. He received our new student of the year award. He just came into the program in leaps and bounds."

Yesterday afternoon, Jacob was driving to the final dress rehearsal for the play "The Elves and the Shoemaker " when his car was broad sided on Johnson Road. And that passion is what Molly Simpson says made Jacob's fellow cast members keep the show alive.

Simpson says, "I think his influence will be long lasting. The cast had to decide what they were going to do this morning, if they were going to do this play or not and they felt the Jake would have wanted them to do this."

Ashley Swetnam, says that the loss of Jacob reaches much deeper than just the surface.

Swetnam said, "It is just a shock. Right now I am thinking; what good could have possibly come out of something like this. You are kind of scratching your head going, why him, someone that was so young that had so much ahead of him."

And knowing Jacob she says was priceless.

"You know, you kind of feel lucky to know someone that loved life so much and loved what he did so much," Swetnam said.