Friends and family say there was nothing quite like a bear hug from the outgoing, lovable Isaac Grubb.
"This is an open, loving, didn't care to show his emotions kind of a boy. It's kind of rare for a young man to be that open," his grandmother Mary Ruth Grubb said.
Grubb visited his grandfather, who could pass away at any minute, just before attending Friday's Chick-fil-A kickoff game between the Tennessee Volunteers and North Carolina State Wolfpack. The 20-year-old died after plummeting 45 feet from the upper level of the Georgia Dome while cheering a touchdown made by the Vols.
"He went to see him before he went to the ball game so he could tell him goodbye and hug him and kiss him," Mary Ruth Grubb said. "He was a thoughtful young man. That was just his personality."
Grubb suffered severe injuries and was transported to Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before midnight, according to a Georgia World Congress Center Authority press release.
With emotions and memories flooding her mind, Mary Ruth Grubb said her eldest grandson was simply a "people person," someone who could strike up a conversation with anyone.
"When his great-granddaddy was in a nursing home, they would take him to visit. Of course, Isaac would go around and visit everyone there. He would prop his elbow up on the wheelchair and say, 'Hi. I'm Isaac. What's your name?' and start a whole conversation with them," she said. "He would approach anyone and talk to them. And he wasn't talking about himself. He wanted to know what you were about."
Friends, old and new, said that was the Isaac they knew.
Former Lenoir City High School classmates Krista Freeman and Jordan Pardue said they learned a lot from their friend's loving outlook on life.
"I felt he always wanted to help people and wanted to make people laugh and make them happy," Pardue said. "I think it made him happy in return."
He was also a free spirit, Freeman added.
"Anytime he was around it was fun. Anytime I picture him I see a big goofy smile on his face. He was just always like that. Isaac was kind. He didn't have anything bad to say about anyone," Freeman said.
"The way I look at it, Isaac's purpose was served. He gave joy to so many around him and impacted so many people's lives and I believe that was his purpose," she said. "He will always be in the hearts of those he knew and we'll always carry a part of his joy with us as we go through life."
Still, it's hard to imagine such an outgoing young man taken so early, Freeman said.
Grubb, a Pellissippi State Community College student, had plans to transfer to UT and later pursue a career in health care.
Blountville resident Chris Kuhnert said she sat just 20 feet from where Grubb landed in the mezzanine level. Kuhnert was upset that medical teams were slow to respond.
"What is going on? Why is there no activity over there? Why are they not clearing the stands and bringing in somebody to look at him? The game just went on like nothing had happened and I'm sure most people weren't aware. They didn't bring in like a cart with lights or I don't know. You just saw no real activity," Kuhnert said.
"It makes you think you live in New York City. The total lack of caring. It was just another job. I guess that was just my first thought was there was just no caring on the parts of the (medical) people. Maybe that's how they are trained. I don't know," she added.
Georgia World Congress Center Authority officials said Grubb had been drinking alcohol prior to kickoff. Grubb landed on a 34-year-old Fort Mill, S.C., man, who sustained minor injuries and was treated and released from Atlanta Medical Center. The man's identity was not released.
The incident remains under investigation by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Police Department, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office and the Georgia Fire Marshals' Office with assistance from the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.