(WXYZ) - At just 15 years old Ian Jenkins was rated one of the top hockey players in the country. But just a day after signing a contract to play the game he loved professionally, tragedy struck.
Last Thursday, Ian was with some friends in Milan where the teen went to high school. He was riding in the bed of a friend’s pick-up truck when somehow the 15-year-old fell out or jumped and hit his head.
Doctors at the University of Michigan Health System did all they could to save him, but on Monday morning Ian passed away.
“Friday I stayed at the hospital for six hours and all my teammates came up. We gave each other big hugs. We all had tears in our eyes,” said Trevor Hamilton, one of Ian’s closest friends and his teammate.
Trevor’s father coached both he and Ian.
“From the time that Ian started with us when he was 9-years-old, to now, every day he had a purpose,” Michael Hamilton told Action News.
The freak accident happened only about 24 hours after Ian signed a contract to play with the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey league.
“The way his parents described it – the last two weeks were the happiest of his life because he accomplished something he wanted to do,” Michael said.
Ian’s family is starting a memorial fund in his honor. It’s called Ian Big “E” Jenkins. The family is still deciding how the donations will be used, but they want the fund to help kids in need pursue their passions. The same way Ian did.
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