Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor the life and family of a 10-year-old boy who lost his life after falling into the Branford river on Friday.
Family and friends amongst the crowd told Eyewitness News that 10-year-old Ben Callahan was a happy, young kid with a bright future.
"To see this community everybody come out together it was really overwhelming and cool," shared Ben’s father, David Callahan.
Callahan died after he went into the Branford river while playing with his two brothers, Cooper and Scout, along the water following the Friday afternoon rainstorms.
"Ben was already getting so deep into the tube that I got sucked under,” brother Scout addressed to the crowd of mourners. “If I tried to get him, I would just get sucked into the tube again."
Police and fire officials said Callahan had been sucked through a 48-inch pipe that runs from the marsh toward a waterway on the other side. Officials said his brothers desperately tried to save him. Emergency crews and dive teams scoured the river for hours, before Callahan’s body was recovered about 50 yards from the Tabor Road pipe.
His coaches described Callahan as an outstanding athlete that excelled in all he did, while proudly wearing jersey number 2.
"I coached Ben for a few years in lacrosse and before we moved away,” said Ben’s lacrosse coach, Corey Reddington. “He was the kind of kid that would go through a wall for you, anything you asked him to do he would do."
Family said Ben also excelled in the classroom, and would frequently help his father.
"He was so generous and willing to share, even sometimes with his brothers, it was really nice," said Callahan.
Callahan described the outpouring of support from the community as touching in time of tragedy.
"Just so brilliant to me to see that and to know that everyday we're here on earth is one day closer being able to see him again and being with him forever."
A Go Fund Me has been established for those interested in donating, click here for the page.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.