UPDATE: School district releases names of 2 Prairie Central HS students killed in Colorado accident

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:42 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 2:56 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

UPDATE (7:45 p.m.) In a letter to the Prairie Central community, Superintendent Paula Crane asked everyone to keep the families of Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr in their prayers.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado says the two teens were riding on a sled down the half pipe when they launched off a large snowbank at Copper Mountain, fell hard on a patch of ice and died at the base of the mountain. They died from blunt force trauma, authorities said. Both were in Colorado for spring break.

Bazzell was recently named to the first team in The Associated Press All-State in Class 2A, and his father Darin is the Prairie Central’s head basketball coach. Fehr was also an outstanding athlete, having been named to the Class 3A All-State Football team.

The young men were getting ready for their final high school sports season, participating in track and field.

In her letter, the superintendent said students, staff, counselors, social workers and friends gathered at the Baptist Church in Fairbury to “grieve together and begin the healing process.”

“We realize that everyone grieves differently and would like to continue to support our students and staff during this heartbreaking time,” Crane said.

She said counselors will be available Tuesday at the Prairie Central High School library from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. More counseling time will be available if needed, Crane said.

UPDATE 2:35 P.M. - Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane confirms one of the students is the son of a high school coach.

The other is the son of a teacher.

Both students were notable athletes.

“Just extremely successful kids,” she said. “Got the work done. Really good work ethic and you know would just shine in their own way, not loudly, just quietly.”

One of the athletes was named to the Illinois Class 2A All-State Basketball Team.

The other was named to the Class 3A All-State Football Team.

Both were set for their last sport of their high school careers - track and field.

Crane says therapists will be on hand next week as the students return back to school.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado says two Illinois teens, 17 and 18 years old, were on spring break.

The students reportedly rode tandem down the half-pipe and launched off a large snowbank at the bottom at Copper Mountain Ski Resort.

The sheriff’s office says they responded at around 8:35 p.m. local time Sunday.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the individuals involved in this tragic incident,” sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said.

(25News Now) - 2 Prairie Central High School students have died in a ski-related accident, according to a letter to the school community.

The letter from Prarie Central Superintendant Paula Crane says the accident happened Sunday.

The district has teamed up with the First Baptist Church of Fairbury to offer counseling, prayer and a place for students to gather Monday, available starting at 10 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.

“The loss will affect everyone in our school family and in our communities,” she said. “Students may have a difficult time dealing with the loss, and we encourage you to talk with your child.”

The district is not releasing the names of the students out of respect for the privacy of the families.

High school extra-curricular activities have been canceled today.