‘He was loved by everyone’: Friends, family remember Henrico teacher killed in crash

29-year-old Cameron Jones died in a fatal car crash over the weekend
Friends and family are remembering former Henrico teacher and basketball coach who lost his life Saturday.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 5:27 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:56 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Friends and family are remembering former Henrico teacher and basketball coach who lost his life over the weekend.

It’s a phone call no one ever wants to receive. Word of the sudden passing of a dear friend, but that’s the call Brian Hamlet received. His best friend Cameron Jones died Saturday.

Hamlet says 29-year-old Jones was killed in a car accident in the Richmond area.

“This is something I hate replaying in my head because you kind of still don’t want to believe it’s real,” Hamlet said.

Police said Friday that the crash happened on I-95 northbound in Hanover early Saturday, Feb. 4.

Jones was a sixth-grade English teacher and boys’ basketball coach at Elko Middle School.

“He was loved by everyone, everybody knew him, he always had a smile on his face, he was a very funny guy, very fun to be around,” Hamlet said.

Hamlet says Jones was known for being a star on the basketball court.

He graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke, where his team made the 2010 Group AAA state semi-finals.

Jones also played ball at and graduated from Radford University in 2016, where he later went on to show off his skills overseas in Denmark and the Czech Republic.

“You would have thought he had springs in his legs. I’ve really seen him dunk on seven-footer,” Jones’s friend Christian Kirchman said.

Kirchman says he’s known Jones since elementary school.

He says Jones impacted not only so many people on the court but off it as well.

Kirchman says Jones was a loving son, boyfriend, friend, mentor, and father who devoted his life to his three-year-old daughter.

“He loved his daughter. Once he found out he was a dad, that’s all he cared about. It wasn’t basketball anymore, it wasn’t anything else, it was just him being a dad,” Kirchman said.

Over the phone, Jones’ girlfriend MaKayla Foley tells NBC12 Jones cared so deeply for others.

“He went above and beyond for others for those he loved,” Foley said.

Foley says Jones taught at Henrico Schools for about five years. She says he loved his students and was seen as a big brother, mentor, and friend to many.

Henrico County Public Schools released a statement regarding Jones’ passing:

“Our hearts are with the Jones family and the Elko Middle School family as they mourn the loss of their friend, colleague, teacher, and loved one. School counselors are available all week to assist students who may need additional support.”

Now, Jones’ family and friends are having to imagine a life without him.

“He was the life of the party,” Jones’ friend Justin Lewis said. “To know him was to love him.”

All those who loved him wanted people to remember Cameron as a genuine soul full of life.

“He always took care of his people, no matter what he had to do. He always made sure everyone was okay. He would help you out if he could,” Hamlet said.

“It’s just so surreal. Somebody with such a good heart, such a great person, so full of life, would give you the clothes off his back and just to be gone, just like that. It’s unfortunate. It’s just sad,” Kirchman said.

Funeral arrangements will be held at Pilgrim Baptist Church, located in Roanoke at 1415 8th St NW, on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m.

Two GoFundMe accounts have been created for Jones’ funeral expenses and to support his daughter.