Malik Williams, 25, from Illinois in the US was fishing with his six-year-old son Jaden on the Mississippi River on Tuesday when a tragic accident saw the father-of-two drown and his body disappear.
A photograph taken by a bystander – 16-year-old Riley Gomez – shows the pair only moments before Williams’ death. The image has gone viral because of its almost prophetic timing.
“When I was going home, I turned around to see the sunset one last time and the little boy wasn’t on the dock anymore,” Gomez told Inside Edition. “Then I saw his father jump in.”
The six-year-old had accidentally fallen off the jetty and was struggling to stay afloat. Almost automatically his father jumped in after him, even though Williams could not swim either.
“Malik’s first instinct was to save his baby,” a GoFundMe page for the grieving family reads. “He was trying to do everything he could to save Jaden.”
Williams’ fiance Heather – his partner since high school – was also there. She began screaming.
“She was yelling, ‘Help me, help me! They can’t swim! They can’t swim!'” Gomez said.