School personnel at Buchanan Middle school say they are dealing with a tragedy tonight – a 12-year-old who is a student there was killed over the weekend in an ATV crash in Niles Township.
Police have released his name – Dawson Lee Eliason.
Tomorrow is the first day of school there so staff is working to figure out how to deal with this as the victim's classmates return for classes.
The following statement was issued Monday night by Buchanan Community Schools: “It is with a heavy heart that we let you know a current 7th Grade Buchanan Middle School student, Dawson Eliason was killed in an accident over the holiday weekend…Counseling will be provided for students and staff at school for those who wish to speak to someone. A letter will be going home to parents during the school day tomorrow.”
In the meantime, investigators in Berrien County may be looking into possible charges in the case. Under Michigan law, you must be 16 to ride an ATV. Since the boy was only 12, police are looking into who the ATV belonged to and who allowed him to ride it.
The accident happened Sunday in the 2300 block of Walton Road in Niles Township. Police say he hit a parked car and was pinned beneath the ATV.
The following release was issued by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office:
Rescue workers responded to a unknown injury accident located in the 2300 block of Walton Road in Niles Township. A twelve year old male was riding a Yamaha Kodiak ATV on private property. The ATV struck a parked vehicle and the driver was ejected from the ATV. According to a witness the ATV was resting on top of the young driver.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Departments Accident Investigation Team was called to the scene. The accident remains under investigation.