The town of Virden is mourning the death of 14-year-old boy killed in a dirt bike accident Wednesday night.
The Grade 9 Virden Collegiate Institute student died after the dirt bike he was riding collided with a vehicle at the intersection of Highway 257 and Provincial Road 252.
Community members identified the boy as Lane Coulter.
RCMP say the crash happened about 8 p.m. roughly 13 kilometres west of Virden.
"It is very sad. A loss at any age is certainly very sad, but a young man at this age makes it even that much more difficult to deal with," said Barry Pitz, superintendent of Fort La Bosse School Division.
RCMP have since established that a southbound dirt bike on Provincial Road 252 crossed Highway 257and collided with an eastbound vehicle driven by a 36-year-old female from the Rural Municipality of Wallace.
The victim, an RM of Wallace resident, was taken to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The school division activated its trauma response team to help students deal with the tragedy.
"We have our student support workers and counsellors currently in our schools available to meet with students during this grieving time," Pitz said. "We’re also making connections with other child and adolescent mental health services if we require additional support … We’re a rural community, a rural division and in most cases everyone knows everyone."
The Virden RCMP detachment, assisted by an RCMP traffic reconstructionist, continues to investigate.
Police said the rider was not wearing a helmetat the time of the collision.
It is illegal for children to be driving off-road vehicles on the highway, RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said, and protective gear is essential for anyone on a dirt bike, ATV or motorcycle.
"Appropriate wear does certainly reduce the seriousness of the injuries in many incidents," she said. "Young boys and young girls at times do think somehow they’re indestructible, that nothing bad will happen to them. Unfortunately … they do get caught up into situations that sometimes they can get out of, and unfortunately sometimes they pay the ultimate price."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 18, 2012