FORD COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — It was a somber moment on Wednesday as a group of high school students from the Gibson City area gathered around a utility pole in rural Ford County.
They were there to remember a classmate and friend who tragically perished at that spot just a day earlier.
“I didn’t really get to say goodbye to him, so this is kind of like me saying goodbye,” Parker Snyder said.
Snyder’s best friend, 17-year-old Colin Kristensen, died on Tuesday after Ford County authorities said he lost control of his truck on County Road 500 East. The truck left the road, hit the pole and was sent rolling over.
Kristensen was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene, officials said.
Snyder and Kristensen’s other friends visited the site Wednesday afternoon to mourn and pay their respects. They searched the site for items from the crash; anything they found was used to make a memorial.
They said these items represent the good times they had with Kristensen and the good times they will never be able to have with him.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s real. You don’t really want to accept it, especially since I was so close to him. He was like a brother to me almost,” Snyder said. “I’m in shock, obviously. It sucks that I lost my best friend, and how I’m not going to have fun times with him anymore, see him anymore, anything like that.”
Snyder said that he’s dealing with the loss by talking with friends and family, which he suggested for anyone else in the community who is struggling to cope with Kristensen’s death.
Gibson City Melvin Sibley Schools said in a memorial post on Facebook that Kristensen was a rising senior at GCMS High School. They added that he was active in athletics, agriculture and FFA and the technical aspects of the performing arts program.