Community devastated: Death of teen boy confirmed |

Community devastated: Death of teen boy confirmed

A 16-year-old Bear River High School junior was pronounced dead early Monday morning after emergency rescue personnel were unable to resuscitate him following an apparent home accident, a school official said Monday.

Bear River Athletic Director Duwaine Ganskie confirmed the student to be Justin Butler, 16, a varsity wide receiver who had scored the Bruin’s only touchdown in a loss Friday night at Woodcreek High School in Roseville.

“Obviously, it’s pretty solemn around here,” Ganskie said. “Everybody is trying to get their heads around it.”

Butler was transported Sunday evening from a residence in Lake of the Pines to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and then to UC Davis Medical Center by helicopter, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. Hospital representatives confirmed Butler had been at the two facilities, but could not give details.

“Once the medics were notified, the football coaches were also immediately notified” Sunday night, Ganskie said.

“The team met (Sunday) night at one of the players’ homes, while attempts were being made to resuscitate him,” Ganskie added. “Between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m., there was hope that he would make it, but around 1 a.m. was when he officially passed.”

Law enforcement and the county coroner have yet to determine the circumstances of Butler’s death, and an investigation is ongoing.

“It’s had a devastating effect on our kids and our community,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “It’s tough for high school-aged kids to understand this. And it’s tough for all of us, adults and parents, to see our kids hurting.”

To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail or call (530) 477-4240.

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