MICHIGAN CENTER, MICHIGAN (WLNS) — The sudden death of three young men has left the Michigan Center High School community speechless.
Lenawee County Center Police say the incident happened yesterday at a campground in Woodstock Township, near the Faster Horses Festival.
Police say there were 5 victims unconscious from suspected carbon monoxide, three were pronounced dead and two others were rushed to the hospital and are in critical condition.
Now, staff at their former high school Michigan Center are mourning this tragic loss in their community.
“Their character, their integrity, high-quality kids. the epitome of what you want from a student-athlete here at Michigan center and their smiles. You know they were very outgoing, full of energy, full of life,” said Travis Gaddy, Michigan Center boys basketball coach.
“They had an impact on everybody. Teachers, other students, different social groups, they had no enemies,” said Brady Cook, Superintendent of Michigan Center School District. “Everywhere they went, people were impressed by them. It never stopped they graduated from high school and went on just had dynamism about them that people were attracted to them and wanted to be around them and got better because of them,” he continued.
Lisa Haynes, their middle school teacher, and family friend says they were all so smart.
“I was so proud of what they were doing and I know their families we’re proud too,” said Haynes.
That is the legacy these 3 men left with staff at their former high school. Cook, Haynes, Gaddy, and football coach Troy Allen were devastated when they heard the news.
“Numb, sick, just you never think something like could happen and to know it’s to these 3 young men is absolutely heartbreaking,” said Allen.
“Just shocked, it just hits you right in the heart as a mom, and I felt like I was a second mom to these boys,” said Haynes.
Cook says he’s dealt with several tragedies in his career but this was different.
“The impact that those three individuals had on this school district and our community made it different because they’re different,” said Cook.
Haynes said although each of these men had different paths after high school, they were still making their parents proud.
“Dawson, he has the landscaping and maintenance business and he’s got, employees. He’s a 20-year old that’s absolutely rocking it. Then you have Richie, he was working the stock market and he was doing so well with it. Then Kole, he was the valedictorian of the 2020 class. He gets a job through manpower at Jiffy, and Jiffy ends up hiring him and giving all these opportunities for advancement and helping him pay for college. They were all on amazing path to success, and I was so proud,” said Haynes.
Allen says he plans to keep their names alive.
“I’m going to make sure that every kid that I coach or kids in school all want to keep their legacy going to talk about what amazing individuals they were and how they represented this place Michigan center.”
The family of the victims says a vigil will be held in their honor tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. at Michigan Center High School.