Weleetka Community Holds Vigil For Boys That Died From Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Wednesday, October 23rd 2019, 10:15 pm
By: Erick Payne

The Weleetka community held a vigil for two boys that died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Friends and family packed the school gym to remember Anthony Riddle and Mathew Harrison with a candle light vigil. The boys died Sunday, Oct. 20 by what law enforcement believe was carbon monoxide poisoning.

"I know that god loved Anthony and that god loved Matthew," said one person. 

Another classmate said, "grieving is a process God uses to bring us to a place of wholeness."

The OSBI says the medical examiner has to confirm, but it appears the two teens died from carbon monoxide poisoning. They pulled a portable generator into their travel trailer after storms caused a loss of power. A family member found both of them the next morning.

Their school had councilors available for students as they returned from fall break. They have also canceled a football game and postponed their homecoming events. 

Superintendent Chris Carter says it's a tragedy, but it's heartening to see the amount of support. 

"We're a small community and a small school so it's like a family atmosphere so when tragedy strikes it brings out that family feeling," Carter said.

Carter says people from other districts and all over the area have reached out to show their support.

Those who came to the vigil tonight hope that support comforts the boys families and friends.

"Though lives may come to an end and candles may go out, the memory of the flame will be there forever, and that's something every single one of us can hold onto."

A benefit dinner has been set from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday before the school's football game. All the money will go towards funeral costs. 


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