‘He was a pretty good kid,’ grandfather of Tooele teen remembers his grandson

Feb 14, 2023, 5:59 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 2:45 pm

TOOELE, Utah — There isn’t a doubt in Chris Sloan’s mind his grandchild is special because his phone will not stop ringing.

“The number of messages and phone calls and Facebook posts that we’ve all received over the last 20 hours leads us to believe that we’re not the only ones who thought he was a pretty good kid,” Sloan said.

His grandson, 14-year-old Jayden Davis, died Monday night after he fell through the ice at Settlement Canyon Reservoir in Tooele. Search and rescue crews found his body just after midnight.

“It’s still so raw and so unexpected,” Sloan expressed. “He was a good kid.”

Instead of focusing on how he died, his family is remembering what he loved during his short life. Playing sports might be at the top of the list.

“He was hardcore. And worse than that, he was talented,” said Sloan with a smile. “We’ve spent the last 20 or so hours looking at pictures.”

14-year-old Jayden Davis who tragically died after falling into the Settlement Canyon Reservoir. (Courtesy: Chris Sloan) 14-year-old Jayden Davis (Courtesy: Chris Sloan) 14-year-old Jayden Davis (Courtesy: Chris Sloan) 14-year-old Jayden Davis (Courtesy: Chris Sloan) 14-year-old Jayden Davis (Courtesy: Chris Sloan) 14-year-old Jayden Davis (Courtesy: Chris Sloan)

Davis was a freshman at Tooele High School but had played on the varsity football and varsity basketball teams this season.

“Over the last month, his minutes had increased and increased to where he was playing very significant minutes in crunch time,” Sloan said.

But Jayden wasn’t just interested in sports. Sloan also shared pictures of the books he found in Davis’s room Tuesday morning.

The variety of books Davis had read or was reading shows why his grandson seemed to be a natural leader.

“What 14-year-old kid is reading homer? Is reading the Odyssey? The Iliad? Biographies of Abraham Lincoln? And right next to those is a book about Kobe Bryant,” said Sloan.

Davis had so much potential, making what happened even more challenging for his family.

“He would ask me on rides to football games, ‘ what’s the difference between a city council and a county commission?’ At nine or ten years old,” Sloan recalled. “He was making a difference in this community already. And was going to make more of one.”

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‘He was a pretty good kid,’ grandfather of Tooele teen remembers his grandson