PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The community gathered Monday evening to honor the two men who drowned in West Greenwich pond earlier this month.
Providence residents Joshua Richards and Tylon Brooks, both 20, were pulled from Phelps Pond after they went into the water and never resurfaced.
Richards’ aunt previously told 12 News her nephew drowned while trying to rescue Brooks.
“He was a great person,” Monkon Jay King said. “We lost a great one.”
The pond is a popular swimming destination among locals, even though it’s deep in the woods and not staffed by lifeguards.
Family and friends of both victims gathered at Conley Stadium for a candlelight vigil.
The Providence football field is a place where both men spent most of their childhood.
“We grew up out here on this field,” Richards’ and Brook’s friend Aidan Rosario said. “We grew up having fun.”
Frederick Mallay, Richards’ cousin and Brooks’ friend, helped organize the vigil. He tells 12 News he felt like it was the least he could do.
“They are always with us,” Mallay said. “We keep saying, ‘legends never die,’ and honestly, those two are legends.”
Mallay described the vigil as a way to honor their legacies and ensure that they’ll never be forgotten.
“They wouldn’t want us to mourn or grieve too long,” Mallay said “They would want us to live, love and laugh and just keep being better versions of ourselves because that’s what they did.”
The brothers of both Richards and Brooks created GoFundMe pages to help with funeral expenses, both of which have raised thousands of dollars.