Elam Jones was only 29-years-old. His parents sat down to talk with ABC 4 about his death. "It's a big void," said Elam's father, Derek Jones.
This father said he had a premonition about his son's death before he heard the news. "I was coming home from work and I had an empty feeling in my stomach," Derek said.
He saw his wife in the yard waiting with a look on her face he'll probably never forget. Then she uttered the words,"'There's been a cave in.' I knew right then who it was and what the out come would be. I don't know you just get them feelings," Derek said.
Elam's family is putting forward a positive attitude despite the pain they must be feeling. "It's hard. It's hard," said Elam's mother Julie Jones.
His death is especially hard because Elam's father was his best friend. This relationship took off when Elam was just a young boy.
"The hunting and the fishing and the camping," said Derek. "When we weren't at work we spent about all our time together because we lives right next door. We had the same interests," he continued.
Elam's mother recalls when he survived two avalanches. These experiences caused their now deceases son to reflect on his life.
"He said he would never die on a snow mobile. If he was to die sooner than anybody expected it would be in the coal mine. He knew that. He knew that," Julie said.
Elam's mother and father don't blame the mine or Elam for his passing. They say his death is a fluke accident with odds similar to a car accident.
"We believe this isn't the end. There's still life to go on and that's what we hang onto," Julie said.
Elam leaves behind his son's 5-year old Kelson and 4-year-old Dacyn. He also leaves behind his wife Jacqie Jones who is asking for privacy at this difficult time.
Elam's funeral is Wednesday in Huntington.