Granger Smith revealed on Thursday that his 3-year-old son, River Kelly, died in a tragic accident. We now know the cause of death, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
On Wednesday, a call went out to 911 from the Smith family home in Georgetown, Texas. EMS responded immediately, but although he was rushed to the hospital, it was too late to save River.
“Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived,” Smith wrote in an emotional Instagram post for his fans. “Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life. Our family is devastated and heartbroken.”
“The joy he brought to our lives cannot be expressed and his light will be forever in our hearts. If there are words to say more, I cannot find them in this moment. Love the ones close to you. There has never been a more difficult moment for us that this.”
Smith’s rep confirmed that the accident was “a tragic drowning at home.” The family asked that his fans send donations to the Dell Children’s Medical Center in his son’s name.
Other country music stars have reached out with messages of support following the accident. American Idol host Luke Bryan–no stranger to loss after both his siblings passed away–sent his prayers to the family.
Kane Brown–about to become a father for the first time himself–reached out with an offer of support: “I’m here for you if you need anything at all bro just hit me up.”
Maren Morris wrote, “I am so, so sorry. Thinking of you and your family at this time.”
Granger Smith married his wife, Amber, in 2010. They share a daughter, London, and a son named Lincoln. River was their youngest child. Fans have gotten to know the family through Smith’s social media as well as his music videos, which often feature his wife and kids.
In 2017, baby River played a big role in the video for “Happens Like That.” The song reflects on the lighting speed in which Smith’s life changed as he met his wife, proposed to her, and then married–the lyrics accompanied by flashes of light as his real-life wife appears.
Toward the end of the video, River appears in his father’s arms, seeming to fall from the sky. It’s heartbreaking to watch the video now, knowing what tragedy the family would face.