Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bellevue boy dies from snowmobile collision

Students and staff mourn loss at Wood River Middle School

Nolan Kreczkowski

Express Staff Writer
    The Ada County Coroner’s Office confirmed Tuesday that a 12-year-old Bellevue boy, Nolan Kreczkowski, died Monday evening at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center following an accident on a snowmobile Sunday afternoon south of Bellevue.
    Kreczkowski was pronounced dead at 6:58 p.m.
    The news came as a shock to students and staff at Wood River Middle School, where Kreczkowski was enrolled as a sixth-grader.

It’s a tragic day at the same time, because losing a kid of intelligence and stature is a terrible thing because he was a wonderful young man.”
Fritz Peters
WRMS principal

    “A lot of kids are really upset, but it’s really good to see that a lot of our kids are rallying to help the family and the community,” said school Principal Fritz Peters. “We’re building a temporary memorial, but the kids are coming up with ideas to build a more permanent tribute to him.
    “It’s a tragic day at the same time, because losing a kid of intelligence and stature is a terrible thing because he was a wonderful young man,” Peters said.
    The Blaine County School District website described Kreczkowski as a “smart, kind and funny young man who will be greatly missed by his friends and teachers” at both the middle school and at Bellevue Elementary School, where Kreczkowski was earlier enrolled.
    A counseling team was on hand at the middle school Tuesday to assist grieving students and staff.
    Peters is quoted on the district website as saying: “The students and staff will react in different ways to the death of one of our school community members. We all should expect and try to understand that there will be a variety of emotions and responses to what has occurred. The most important thing we can do is to be supportive of each other and encourage an open expression of feelings.”
    Kreczkowski was flown to St. Luke’s in Boise from the scene of the accident in a hay field just south of Bellevue between Gannett and Bay Horse roads.
    The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that the accident occurred at about 4 p.m. when Kreczkowski, riding a Polaris 400, collided nearly head-on with a Polaris 700 ridden by his father, 47-year-old Keith Kreczkowski.
    The Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release that the Kreczkowskis were approaching from opposite directions a small rise used for jumping the machines and that neither saw the other until it was too late to avoid a collision.
    Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Monday that Keith Kreczkowski’s snowmobile was airborne when it struck the machine ridden by his son, who was struck in the upper torso by the machine ridden by his father.
    Ramsey described the accident as a “high-speed impact collision,” causing both riders to lose their helmets.
    The sheriff said Nolan Kreczkowski suffered severe head and chest trauma, while his father, who was transported by Wood River Fire and Rescue ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River hospital, sustained “chest, head and neck trauma.”
    Jenny King, spokeswoman at St. Luke’s Wood River, said Tuesday that Keith Kreczkowski was transferred on Monday to St. Luke’s in Boise, presumably to be with his son. St. Luke’s Boise spokesman Ken Dey confirmed Tuesday that Keith Kreczkowski was a patient at the hospital but said the “family has not authorized release of any information at this point.”
    Ramsey said the Kreczkowski family was on an outing with friends on Sunday afternoon, with participants taking turns riding the snowmobiles.
    “They were just out riding, enjoying the afternoon and all of a sudden something changed,” Ramsey said.
Terry Smith:

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