LAKE STEVENS — In one of the last football games of the year, Tyeson Kane hurt his foot.
The linebacker wearing No. 96 kept trotting onto the field. He was so amped up that he didn’t realize the bone was broken until he got home, started to limp and went in for X-rays, his coach, Wally Shoot, said.
It was Tyeson’s first year playing in the Lake Stevens Youth Football league, on the Junior Gold team.
“He stood on the sidelines with us for the final game of the season,” Shoot said. “… You just knew he was going to be someone great, whether it was on the football field or not.”
Tyeson, 11, died on New Year’s Day, almost a week after a sledding accident in Central Washington.
He’d been visiting Pateros, a tiny town along the Columbia River north of Wenatchee. Yards along the riverfront had a dusting of snow left over from Christmas, when the town of about 700 people was hit by a fresh snowstorm on the morning of Dec. 26.
Around 10 a.m. the boy climbed a hill on Eveline Street that’s about a quarter-mile long, said Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley. He sledded east, toward the river.
A Ford F-350 was most of the way through the intersection at Warren Avenue when Tyeson went under the northbound truck. The driver stayed at the scene. Snow kept falling, covering the sled’s route by the time deputies arrived. A neighbor’s security camera captured the crash, according to the sheriff’s office. Hawley said it appeared the truck driver had no warning.
For days, the boy fought for his life at a hospital in Spokane, according to updates on an online fundraiser. An outpouring of public support helped to raise $17,000 for his family.
Dozens of people changed their social media avatars to a portrait of Tyeson in gold, purple and black Viking football gear, overlaid with a caption #TyesonStrong. He died on New Year’s Day, according to the family’s posts in a public Facebook group.
Through the Lake Stevens School District, Tyeson’s family has asked for privacy.
“There’s no greater honor than to know my son has touched so many hearts,” his mother Jhade Tolman said in a post shared in the group. “Tyeson was the most beautiful, kind, loving soul with his own special little twist and quick wit. Tyeson peacefully fell asleep in my arms surrounded by loved ones.”
Counselors will be available in the Lake Stevens School District on Monday, when students and staff return from winter break.
“We all are looking at our children and looking at the fragility of life,” Tyeson’s football coach said. “What do you say?”
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.