VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Family members of 21-year-old Virginia Beach man Bradlee LaMontagne are heartbroken after he died in a tragic boat accident last Thursday.
They say LaMontagne was on his uncle’s yacht in Cozumel, Mexico, when the incident happened. The family says he hopped in the water near the yacht for a quick swim when he was hit by a boat passing by at a high rate of speed.
Those on the boat tried to save him using CPR, but it was too late. The family says a man was recently charged in the incident and 10 On Your Side is working to learn more.
LaMontagne was a star wrestler during his time at Cox High School in Virginia Beach and went on to be captain of the wrestling team at Johns Hopkins University.
His coach there says he was a great leader who never gave up.
“He came to Hopkins because he wanted to change the world and he made a difference to every one of his teammates, to the community of Hopkins. His energy, his smile was contagious,” said Johns Hopkins’ University Head Wrestling Coach Keith Norris.
To his family, LaMontagne was goofy but also very hardworking. They say he loved scuba diving and mentoring others.
“He wanted to do his part. Improve his family, improve the world in any way he could,” said LaMontagne’s uncle, Mike Hillier.
Family members say LaMontagne was often spotted at Lynnhaven Dive Center, the family business.
Now, they hope others can take on the “Be like Bradlee” mentality: to never give up, and live a life that makes an impact.
“He made everybody feel special, it didn’t matter who you were, he’d make you feel special,” said LaMontagne’s mom, Lindsey Hillier.
In honor of LaMontagne, a scholarship fund was created through the Great Neck Wrestling Club. The family will use that money to give other local wrestlers an opportunity to make an impact.
On Saturday, Dec. 19 from 2-4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20 from noon to 3 p.m., viewing will be offered at HD Oliver Funeral Apartments on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. However, no more than 10 people are allowed in at a time.
On Monday, Dec. 21 there will be a closed church service for family only but it can be streamed with information available at HD Oliver’s website.
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