Youngstown building explosion claims life of Pittsburgh native Akil Drake

The authorities have released the identity of the victim who tragically lost their life in the powerful explosion that shook downtown Youngstown, Ohio, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Mahoning County Coroner’s Office has identified him as Akil Drake, a 27-year-old Pittsburgh native.

The building where the explosion occurred is home to a Chase Bank on the ground floor. Drake, who happened to be an employee of the bank, was working at the time of the explosion.

Drake completed his studies at Penn Hills High School in 2015. During his time there, he actively participated in football, which eventually paved the way for his involvement with the Youngstown State football team in college. Those who know him well recall his unwavering dedication and relentless efforts that have shaped his journey so far.

John Peterman, Drake’s former football coach at Penn Hills, was devastated by the news. He described Drake as the kind of player that every coach dreams of having.

According to Peterman, he praised the individual for consistently fulfilling the tasks assigned to him. Peterman considered this quality to be a remarkable asset.

During his time at Youngstown State, Drake dedicated himself to honing his skills in shooting, editing, and producing football film study videos. Under the guidance of Mark Preto, he became proficient in these areas. In 2019, Drake successfully completed his finance major and graduated from the university.

Preto described him as a hardworking individual who was worth supporting and seeing succeed in life.

Those who were close to Drake remember him for his infectious smile.

According to Peterman, no matter the setting, whether it was during football practice, at school, or in the hallways, he always exuded a joyful demeanor.

Drake, with his relentless determination, made his way through school and consistently strived to better himself. Preto, in awe of Drake’s progress in life, finds himself at a loss for words when it comes to expressing his condolences to Drake’s family and loved ones.

Preto expressed that it is difficult to find the right words to capture the depth of what they are experiencing. While the phrase “thoughts and prayers” is often used in these situations, it may not fully convey the empathy and support they wish to express.

The Penn Hills School District expressed its heartfelt condolences to Akil’s family and all those affected by the tragic explosion. They emphasized that Akil will be greatly missed by everyone.

In a statement to KDKA-TV, Youngstown State expressed their condolences and offered their thoughts and prayers to Akil’s family and loved ones during this challenging time. They also extended their heartfelt sympathies to the injured individuals and their families, as well as all those impacted by this incident.

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