Mathew Laverie, who would have been a high school sophomore this fall, had a beautiful smile for everyone, his pastor said.
By JoANNE VIVIANO
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- A 17-year-old Boardman boy died after the dirt bike he was riding in a Southern Boulevard yard flipped and he was ejected.
Township police said Mathew Laverie of Erskine Avenue was riding the bike around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday when he went up an 11-degree grade and struck a large rock. The teen became airborne and landed nearby.
Laverie, who worked as a landscaper, would have been a sophomore at Boardman High School this fall.
The accident happened at the home of his employer, whose family members are close friends of the boy, said Howard Seidel, senior pastor at River of Life Ministries in Boardman.
"They just loved him to death," he added. "I could just tell they were taking it very badly. He was like a son to them."
Seidel said the boy was remembered as "a wonderful worker with a great personality" who "had a beautiful smile for everyone."
The teen died at 7:40 p.m. Thursday at St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he had been on life support. The family donated his organs in hopes that he can give life to others, Seidel said.
Seidel said the teen was well loved by family and had returned that love to his mother, who had been ill in recent years.
"He's been a wonderful son," the pastor said. "He's been there tremendously for his mother."
Police reports show that the teen was riding the bike at about 24 miles per hour. He was not wearing a helmet.