After the news became public, the 29-year-old's wife Helen revealed how he died. She wrote on Instagram, "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. 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.”
Helen later shared a video of Craig on Instagram, and explained the significance of the clip. "On the day of our wedding Craig had me watch a video he had made to tell me how much he loved me. I am so thankful for technology in this moment because I will always have this. I watched this privately prior to walking down the aisle, and so now I want to share this small excerpt with all of you. Thank you @stylistmeganfarmer for helping him make this. I will cherish it for ever."
The caption continued, "'Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalms 116:15' Thank you Lord for sharing #craigstrickland with me. You allowed me to borrow him on this earth, but he was always Yours. I will forever cherish our year of marriage. This was truly the type of man you were and will always be remembered as. I love you Craig Michael."
Craig’s bandmates also released a statement on Facebook about his death. They said, "Today we lost our brother, our best friend, our bandmate. Craig was the most amazing person whose passion for life couldn't be matched. Thankful to know he fought his way from the water to a hill and was lying in the shape of a cross on his back looking up to his Heavenly Father.”
The band also thanked fans for their support and asked for prayers. "We pray today for God to wrap his arms around Randy, Joanne, Helen, and the family, and to help us through this extremely difficult time. We want to thank every single friend, fan, and family member for your thoughts, prayers, and love. Today he is smiling down on us and we know he will always be with us. He will always be here to help guide us along the way. We love you Craig Strickland and we will forever miss you!”
Last week, Craig’s friend Chase Morland was found dead, just a few days after they were reported missing on a hunting trip in Oklahoma.