HURT, Va. — A musician from northern Pittsylvania County died early Monday morning in a car crash at the age of 19.
Jacob Doss, a resident of Hurt and graduate of Gretna High School, succumbed to the injuries he sustained in a two-car crash near the intersection of Wyatts Way and Thornbird Place in Bedford County shortly after midnight on Monday. The wreck remains under investigation.
"I believe Jacob Doss was an angel on this Earth," said Pete Turpin, a band mate and close friend of Doss. "I treated him like he was my own son."
Although Doss was the face of his band, the Jacob Doss Project, which formed in 2017, he was known to frequent gigs with older blues and rock n' roll musicians in Danville, Lynchburg and Roanoke.
"I'm 55 this year and he was only 19. It’s a different age bracket, but he's an old soul in a young body from all his influence and upbringing," Turpin said. "It’s strange to be so far apart in age, but he blended in with all us old cats that played music forever. He is so soulful and so real."
Jacob's parents, Teresa and Philip Doss, brought Jacob to a show when he was 14 – the Pete Turpin Band in Lynchburg. Turpin was playing with Jacob's grandfather, bassist Danny Farmer Jr., and his uncle, drummer Danny "Luther" Farmer III. Turpin and Jacob are both guitarists, and they instantly hit it off.
"We instantly became friends and ever since then, he started coming out to our shows on his own and we became really, really close," Turpin said. "We would talk about real-life things, not just music. He always liked to tell me how he had all these musicians around him, but he appreciated me not just as a musician, but as a friend."
Those close to Jacob describe him as bubbly, positive and always in good spirits. He was proudly saved and believed in God, frequently discussing Jesus with the older musicians. He was a member of New Bethel Church of the Brethren in Chatham.
"He wasn’t here long, didn’t have time enough to get corrupted," Turpin said. "He was pure at heart, and he lived like Jesus would want you to. I reckon it was time for him to go back to that big band in the sky. He was too good for this world. The Lord took him back home and spared him from a lot of crap down the road."
A gifted guitarist, Jacob Doss played gigs close to home at The Pod in Gretna and as far out as Roanoke just last weekend.
"He loved some music, man," Turpin said. "And his guitar...man, he could smoke that thing."
Turpin recalled how Doss loved when he played the harmonica. They both loved the blues and clicked in each other's company.
"A lot of people didn't understand where he got his bubble from, he was just so good to everybody," Turpin said. "He didn’t judge anybody. He was a gentle soul... good to every single person he ran across. He treated everyone with a smile and kindness. He was an angel walking this Earth."
Turpin said he will always love Doss and never forget him, fondly remembering his Coke-bottle glasses and messy, curly hair.
"He was always looking forward to the next day, and he lived each day like it was last," Turpin said. "That's a good thing. I love him, I will never forget him... I already miss him."
Born Sept. 6, 2001, Jacob was soon to celebrate his 20th birthday. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Newton Clay Doss and Kathryn “Kitty” Doss.
"My baby, my inspiration is gone," said his mother, Teresa. "I don’t even know what to say right now...I love you Jacob and I was your biggest fan every day. I hope I told you enough."
His father, Philip, said, "Our hearts are broken. Please pray for our family."
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his maternal grandparents, Danny and Barbara Farmer of Motley; one brother, Jody Paul Rowland of Hurt; uncles and aunt, Jeremy Farmer and wife, Gina of San Francisco, Calif., Danny Farmer of Hurt, and Alan Doss of Chatham; nephew and nieces, Hunter Gauge Rowland, Olivia Grace Rowland, Sydney Madison Rowland, and Scarlett Rose Rowland; and his band members, Danny Farmer and Kevin Daye.