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Champaign County man among missing sailors from USS John S. McCain

Published: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 1:25 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 2:23 PM

Triad grad among missing

A Champaign County man is among the missing after an oil tanker collided with the USS John McCain near Singapore.  

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Veronica Drake said her brother, Jacob Drake, joined the Navy shortly after graduating from Triad High School in North Lewisburg. She said Jacob is outgoing, and liked to spend his time playing video games with friends and building computers in the family’s living room. She is his only sibling.  

Ten sailors are missing from the collision of the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer with a tanker early Monday east of Singapore.

Members of Drake’s family are organizing a candlelight vigil in honor of Drake on Thursday at the North Lewisburg Ball Park at 8:30 p.m.

Missing sailor from Champaign County

Officials said they found one body that has yet to be identified.

The collision punctured a hole in the left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments, including crew berths, machinery and communication rooms.

Even after hearing the news of the crash, Veronica said the family never expected he would be among those missing. 

Champaign County man among missing sailors from USS John S. McCain

“We just kept telling ourselves it couldn’t be Jake,” Veronica said. 

 She said she last talked to him just a few days before the crash. Usually, they talked about what was happening with the family, and he asked her to send him photos of the family’s cats, she said. 

Triad Superintendent Chris Piper said Drake was a 2013 graduate of the Champaign County school.

“I did not know him, although many of the teachers here did. We have reached out to his family to express our condolences but have not heard back. Until that time I can only say that our thoughts and prayers are with his family as the search continues,” Piper said.