Family remembers 4-year-old who drowned at Wildwood Park


COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. – Last Saturday, 4-year-old Jace Baker drowned at Wildwood Park during a weekend trip. Now, his uncle is sharing memories of little Jace.

It’s news no family member wants to get.

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s the worst news I’ve ever heard in my entire life…ever,” said uncle Alan Baker.

Baker is talking about the moment he heard the news that his nephew drowned at Wildwood Park this past Saturday.

Jace’s body was found in Clarks Hill Lake about 8 feet from shore. Several people tried to save him but, sadly, it was too late.

Baker says he was watching the Georgia game when he got the news from Jace’s dad.

“He called me and I was like, ‘I can’t hear you.’ So, he text me and said, ‘Jace is dead.’ I fell out of a bar stool and ran outside. I almost fainted and my brother…he was done. I heard screaming in the background,” said Baker.

He says he immediately jumped in his car and drove from Florida back to Augusta to comfort his family. He describes Jace as the little boy who always stayed active and had a smile on his face.

“Spark of life, happy go lucky, ready to fight always, just a happy kid,” said Baker.

Sadly, images of that happiness will only be remembered in pictures of Jace and in Baker’s heart.

“We can’t bring him back but we’ll celebrate his life for sure,” said Baker.

Baker says it’s a tragedy that could happen to anyone and he hopes whoever is watching, learns from this accident.

“I hope this is a wake up call for anybody who has a young child. I know nobody wanted this to happen but it happened,” said Baker.

So, they won’t be forced to live with a memory of their loved one and wonder what life they could have had.

“He won’t be able to play on that playground behind me or graduate high school, or do anything he wanted to do,” said Baker.

The family plans to have a balloon release in Jace’s honor. It’s Saturday at Bellevue Memorial Gardens at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.

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