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Lake Monticello Fire Dept. Holds Conference to Remember Fluvanna Sailor

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FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A 19-year-old Navy sailor from Palmyra was killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship of the coast of Japan early June 17. The Navy has identified Dakota Rigsby, a gunner's mate seaman, as one of seven sailors killed on the USS Fitzgerald.

Rigsby graduated from Fluvanna County High School and volunteered as a firefighter at Lake Monticello. He joined the fire department as a volunteer in January 2014.

The fire department's chief and fellow firefighters held a press conference on June 18 to speak about Rigsby. They described him as a ‘stand-up guy’ and thanked him for his service.

"It's a tragic loss and he was definitely taken entirely too soon and its...we just know that he is watching over us right now,” said Assistant Chief Lake Monticello Fire Department Jean Campbell

The flag flies at half-staff at the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department as crews remember volunteer Rigsby.

"For me he was a regular kid, when he was younger and just having fun playing and he grew into what we would consider a good man. Even before he left for the navy he would spend a lot of time with some of the younger kids up here playing basketball and just horsing around with them and having a good time,” said Campbell.  

As the Rigsby family mourns, the fire department wants to thank Dakota for his years of service to the Fluvanna County community and to his country.

Rigsby's family was originally set to speak at the press conference but the fire chief said the family is not ready to speak.

Funeral plans are not set. 

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