Wife: Country Singer Fought His Way Out of Water

Strickland felt no pain at the end, she says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 3:25 AM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2016 4:23 AM CST
This undated image released by Lightfly Creative shows Craig Strickland, lead singer of Arkansas-based country-rock band Backroad Anthem.    (Brian Armas/Lightfly Creative via AP)

(Newser) – Country singer Craig Strickland didn't suffer in his last moments, his grieving wife says. In an Instagram post made after the singer's body was found on Monday, Helen Strickland shared details of the death of her husband, who perished on a Dec. 27 duck hunting trip when his boat apparently overturned during a winter storm, People reports. "The night of the accident he had fought his way out of the water and up a hill before the stages of hypothermia set in," his wife wrote. "He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep. They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his father."

Strickland, an Arkansas native, had been on a hunting trip over the border in Oklahoma, where authorities say at least six people died in severe weather around Christmas, the AP reports. In a Facebook post, Strickland's five surviving bandmates from Backroad Anthem mourned the man they described as brother, best friend, and bandmate. They praised him as the "most amazing person whose passion for life couldn't be matched" and thanked fans for their prayers, reports Billboard. (Strickland's friend Craig Morland, whose body was recovered last week, sent a prophetic tweet not long before they disappeared.)

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