Lubbock firefighters mourn the loss of their brother in Sunday's - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock firefighters mourn the loss of their brother in Sunday's fatal plane crash

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As investigators try to figure out what caused Sunday's fatal plane crash in Dickens county, Jake Jenkins' friends and co-workers spent the day trying to cope.

Jenkins was a Lubbock firefighter, and his friends say it was a privilege to work with him.

Firefighters work and live together at their stations for days at a time. With so much time spent together, Jenkins' friends at station 14 say they were like a family. Monday they reflected on the life of their lost brother.

"He was on leave and he was supposed to be back last night," said friend and co-worker Jimmy Settle.

But 40-year-old Jake Jenkins never made it in. He died doing what he loved, flying his plane in Dickens County. His parents were also killed in the accident. Jenkins' friends say there wasn't anything Jake couldn't do.

"The guy was talented. He could build his own house, fly a plane, as you know pick the banjo. He always had something witty to say, a cornbread country boy," Ryan Blakley said.

Blakley and Settle worked alongside Jenkins at the station, neither of them expected Sunday's phone call.

"I got a phone call yesterday before I came to work and I was sick, I was just absolutely sick. I didn't want to come to work but I needed to get back to the routine," said Settle.

"This is part of our family, a guy you expected to sit around and eat dinner with and chew the fat with and it's real different, real somber," Blakley said.

The news was especially hard for Settle. Jake had previously taken him up on a flight. Settle said there wasn't a shift that went by without Jenkins talking about his love for the air or his family.

"Everybody's pretty tore up, nothing you can do about it. [We're] just tore up and hope the best for his family and sorry it happened," said Blakley.

"He will be missed, he's got over 300 brothers here at the fire department. We'll miss him," Settle told us, holding back tears.

Jake was at station 14 for 6 years and was one of the fire truck drivers. He leaves behind a wife, and three children.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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