‘Freak accident’ at BMX Midwest Nationals kills 15-year-old Indiana boy

What was supposed to be an exciting day of racing at the BMX Midwest Finals in Rockford, Illinois, became a nightmare for one family on Sunday.

Fifteen-year-old Carson Stoffel of Huntington, Indiana, rolled up to the starting line on Sunday with a second place finish already under his belt. After starting down the first straight-away, Carson became tangled with another rider, according to BMX News. When the two crashed, witnesses say Carson “[impacted] the face of the next obstacle with his upper body” and was unresponsive, according to the website.

Carson died at a Rockford hospital, WTVO reported.

USA BMX confirmed his death in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by Carson’s passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his father, Jake Stoffel, his mother, Krista Rohrabaugh, his brother, Chandler, and his sister, Bryleigh. To Carson’s family, we would like to extend our sincere condolences and assure the Stoffel family that USA BMX will do everything to assist and support them through this difficult time.”

Carson’s father, Jake Stoffel, remarked on his son’s love of the sport.

Carson absolutely loved riding his bike and being with his friends,” he said, according to the statement.

The BMX community has shown an outpouring of support for the Stoffels.

“Our hearts are truly broken and we’re at a loss for words,” MoHawk BMX Racing, Carson’s team, wrote in a post on Facebook. “Fly high young Mohawk. You are loved and will be truly missed.”

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.