Balloon release honors Louisiana native who died while saving kids in lake

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Family and friends are remembering a Bossier City native who sacrificed his life to save a group of children while boating.

Witnesses say Damarrion Cummings jumped into Lake Texoma without a life jacket to bring some kids back to safety. He saved the children, but Cummings went under. His body was recovered from the lake last week.

Those who knew Cummings said his heroics came at no surprise, and Thursday, loved ones celebrated his life with a balloon release.

The football at Bossier High School served as a fitting place for his tribute.

“He’s a sports fanatic, so we felt bringing him back to this field where he played would be the best place for this ceremony,” said Jarvis Armington, his classmate.

Armington and Cummings first met at age 9, trying out for little league.

Armington said Cummings, a former Bearcat running back, will be remembered for his loyalty.

“Always there for you, I can say that about him,” he said. “He’s gonna look after you, take care of you. He’s gonna call you, he’s gonna make sure you’re good.”

Family members said the 31-year-old’s compassionate nature came through to the end.

“He lived his life, he didn’t tip toe,” said his mother, Latasha Cummings. “He did everything he wanted to do.”

About 250 people celebrated his life with a memorial balloon release.

“That lets you know that Dee was important,” said Chaterrica Hill, a classmate. “That lets you know that none of us ever lost touch with him. We’re more than a class, more than friends, we’re more than anything. We’re a family.”

Cummings touched the lives of everyone he met, spreading positivity even in boot camp for the Marine Corps.

“The effect that he had on my life was monumental, so I can’t imagine the effect that he had on everybody else. And I didn’t spend that much time with him and he changed my life,” said Steven Rhodes, who went through boot camp with him.

The group released red balloons up toward the heavens and remembered a life that will not soon be forgotten.

“His actions will forever outlive his person, and that’s absolutely beautiful because this world needs more people like Dee,” said Anthony Dipalma, who also went through boot camp with Cummings.

Cummings leves behind a wife and two children.

A funeral service will be held Saturday at Stonewall Baptist Church in Bossier City.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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