PINEVILLE - Adam Morgan is one of the 29 men who lost their lives on April 5, 2010. Described as someone who loved football, hunting, and fishing. His legacy and smile still lives on in the Wyoming County town where he grew up.
"He was my best friend," said Brittany Meadows, "we grew up together, we went to school together, he was like an older brother to me."
Meadows lost her cousin Adam in what's been called the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in recent history.
"It was just a tragedy, we just didn't know what to do," said Meadows.
Adam was just 21 years old at the time, one of the youngest men killed at the Upper Big Branch Mine.
"I don't think the families will ever get over what they've experienced through that, I know Adam's mom and dad will never get over it. They've learned to live with it and to deal with it. I don't think death we can ever really get ready for," said Bill Goode, Adam's Pastor at the Christian Fellowship Worship Center.
Adam's life was short, but he left a large mark on the town of Pineville. Meadows showed Newswatch his family's most treasured pictures under one of his favorite birthday party spots, now dedicated to his memory. Adam was a jokester, the life of the party, and "a ladies man," according to Meadows. "He was really cute, all the girls loved him," she said.
Adam was an athlete too, he played defensive back and wide receiver for the Wyoming East Warriors. Coach Kevin Grogg said that it's tough to think about the memories, but he remembers Adam for his contagious laughter, even after getting the wind knocked out of him.
"He was huffing for some air, and I said buddy you better hurry up, you got to catch another one. And then he started laughing and stuff. That's really one thing that sticks out in my mind about Adam is that day," said Grogg.
Adam followed in his dad's footsteps, going to work in the mines. His family captured his first day on the job, covered in coal dust. Meadows showed Newswatch another picture, it's Adam with the love of his life, the last one taken before he died.
"It seems just like yesterday," she said, "I wish I could tell you how life has changed and let you know that we're all ok, but we miss you."
Time hasn't healed the wounds Adam's loss left behind. Meadows said she prays that something like this never happens again.
"Everything happens for a reason. It was God's will that whatever happened, happened. This has brought our family closer together. We hug each other a little bit tighter on holidays, you know, and just appreciate each other more now that this has happened."