HASTINGS, Minn. — Hastings Middle School students and staff are struggling to cope with the sudden loss of a seventh grader killed in a skiing accident last weekend at Welch Village Ski Area in Welch.
Tegan Johnson, 12, of Hastings, was involved in a “serious skiing accident” on Sunday, Jan. 12, according to an announcement to parents by middle school Principal Steve Kovach. The boy died Tuesday at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.
“All of us at Hastings Middle School extend our deepest sympathy to Tegan’s family and friends,” Kovach wrote.
Welch Village president and general manager Peter Zotalis said in Wednesday statement that around 4 p.m. Sunday the Ski Patrol was notified of an injured guest on a closed trail. When the Ski Patrol arrived on scene, the skier was unconscious and unresponsive.
Red Wing emergency services were called and the skier was transferred to a local hospital, Zotalis said.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young skier,” the statement read. “We would like to thank all the first responders and the Welch Village Ski Patrol for their help. We ask for your continued prayers and support for the skier’s family.”
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Zotalis said.
According to the Hastings school district, middle school and community counselors, psychologists and social workers are being made available to meet with students this week and in the coming days and weeks as needed.
“Because of our close school community, this death touches everyone at our school,” Kovach wrote.
Interim school district superintendent Jeff Pessa added, “This tragedy has impacted many parts of the Hastings Area Public Schools community.”
The son of Chad and Tracey Johnson, Tegan loved life and enjoyed racing dirt bikes, playing baseball, water skiing and downhill skiing, according to his obituary.
Tegan’s aunt, Jaime Youngquist, said Wednesday the family is grateful for the outpouring of compassion from the community.
“We appreciate the prayers,” she said.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Tegan will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Miesville. Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday at Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel in Hastings. There will not be a public visitation on Saturday.
A memorial fund has been set up in Tegan’s name at Vermillion State Bank, his aunt said.