Scott County family mourns drowning victim

POSTED: 6:03 PM Jun 17 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Jun 17 2013
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SCOTT COUNTY, Va. -

The family of Steve Burke is still shocked after an incident over the weekend killed both Burke and his horse, Boots.

"It's just unbelievable. I just can't believe Steve’s gone," says Burke’s mother, Phyllis Bayes.

Bayes invited us into her Scott County, Virginia home where she's been welcoming family and friends.

We’re told Burke was riding Boots with a group of friends when they took the horses to Bark Camp Lake for a drink of water, but something went wrong. “The horse got spooked and jumped out in the water and they couldn't get him back," adds Bayes.

It’s believed Burke's foot got caught in a stirrup and he couldn't get out of the saddle in time. Friends got him out of the water and tried CPR, but Steve Burke died Saturday, the day of his 25th wedding anniversary to wife Louise.

"Steve loved to ride his motorcycle, he loved his farm animals and most of all he loved his wife and child. They were his pride and joy,” adds Bayes.

In addition to his wife, Burke leaves behind a daughter, 21-year-old Lyndsey Burke.

Family and friends say they're shocked by this tragic event and remember Steve as a man who loved to help people, loved being outside and was always there for his family and friends. “He was very kind, generous, and helpful. You name it, it was Steve," adds Bayes.

Visitation for Steve Burke is Wednesday from 5-7 at the Gate City Funeral Home with a burial on Thursday.