MANLIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A teenage boy was killed Saturday while riding a sled being towed by a vehicle.
The incident happened just before noon on private property in the 5300 block of 133rd Avenue, near 53rd Street, in Manlius Township, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said. That’s west of the community of Hamilton.
Investigators say the sled hit a tree. The teen later died from his injuries.
Hamilton Community Schools officials confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that the victim is 15-year-old Mason Dykstra.
He was a freshman at Hamilton High School, where he played on the football team. His mother also works for the school district.
“He’s the kid next door,” Hamilton Community Schools Superintendent David Tebo said of Mason. “It’s kind of stereotypical and cliché to say it, but I think that’s what his parents will want to have him remembered by; I think his teachers will say that. Just a kid with a smile on his face — normal, everyday kid.”
Those who knew Mason gathered at the school Sunday to comfort one another and remember their friend. Tebo said several hundred people showed up.
“It’s been difficult for everybody. … Loss is difficult. When it’s a 15-year-old boy in the prime of his high school career … it’s even more difficult,” Tebo said.
Faculty and grief counselors will be available at the school Monday as students return from winter break.
“Hamilton Community Schools, there is a community in the middle of that name for a reason and it’s how we’ll help everyone get through this,” Tebo said.
The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. Sgt. Cory Hunt said Sunday it is being treated as a “family matter” and a tragic accident.
He said it was undetermined whether the case would be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office, which typically determines whether charges should be filed against anyone involved in an incident.