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Superintendent: 2 Prairie Central students killed in ski-related accident

WGLT file photo
Updated: March 20, 2023 at 1:40 PM CDT
The Summit County Sheriff's Office indicated the two men who died came down hard on the ice after launching off a snowbank.

Two students at Prairie Central High School in Livingston County died Sunday in a ski-related accident, according to a letter the district superintendent has issued to Prairie Central families.

Superintendent Paula Crane said the high school has teamed with Baptist Church in Fairbury to offer counseling, prayer and a place for students to gather on Monday.

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

Crane said the district is not releasing the names of the students “out of respect for the privacy of the families as they grieve through this heartbreaking time.”

The Pontiac Daily Leader reported Monday the victims were Dylan Bazzell and Drew Fehr, both of Fairbury.

Police in Summit County Colorado said the two men reportedly rode tandem down the halfpipe and launched off a large snowbank at the bottom of the halfpipe at Copper Mountain Ski Resort. According to a news release, the teens came down hard on the ice below.

The sheriff's office said despite immediate medical attention from emergency medical services, they were pronounced dead at the scene.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and friends of the individuals involved in this tragic incident," Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimmons said.

Bazzell and Fehr, both seniors at Prairie Central, were also standout multi-sports athletes in basketball, football, and track and field. Bazzell was an all-state basketball player who helped lead the Hawks to a 31-3 record and a one-time No. 1 state ranking this season. Fehr was an all-state football player the Hawks, leading the school to an Illini Prairie Conference championship and an undefeated regular season last fall.

Prairie Central High School also announced all extracurricular activities have been canceled for Monday. The school district is on spring break this week.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.