The Iron Range is currently reeling from the unexpected death of a high school student from Britt.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for an accident at 6:30 p.m. last Friday involving a skid steer tractor in Clinton Township.
That evening, Alaric Lamke, 15, along with others, were moving a tree across their property located south of Mountain Iron, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. Lamke and his father were in the bucket of the tractor being driven by another adult male. Lamke fell off the tractor and was run over by the machine.
Despite life saving efforts by first responders, Lamke was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Responding agencies included: St. Louis County Sheriff, Virginia Ambulance, North Memorial Air Medical, Clinton Fire Department/First Responders, Minnesota State Patrol, and the Eveleth Police Department.
Lamke would have started 10th grade next week at Virginia High School. Following his death, Rock Ridge Public Schools sent a notification to all district families.
“Alaric was a part of both Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia Public Schools since kindergarten and was an active member in many local hockey and baseball teams,” reads the district email sent to families last Sunday morning. “He touched the lives of many students and staff and will be deeply missed.”
The district requested that parents discuss the accident with their children and use “extra caution and empathy in the coming days” as this news could open old wounds that seem to be unrelated.
“Students all grieve in different ways,” the email reads. “While some will have outward reactions such as anger and misbehavior, others will retreat and become more solitary. All are incredibly normal. The important piece is to notice and offer support.”
“We extend our deepest sympathy to everyone affected by this loss,” concluded the email from Rock Ridge. “Hug a loved one close today.”
Jeffrey Hunt recalled coaching Lamke on the Iron Range bantam summer hockey team, which won the CanAm tournament at Lake Placid in N.Y. It was “like the 1980 winter Olympic team” Hunt told the Mesabi Tribune over Facebook Messenger on Monday. “He was so proud.”
“Alaric was a 15 year diehard hockey player,” Hunt wrote. “He loved his team and loved that he was an Iron Ranger.”
Along with hockey, Lamke loved baseball, dirt biking, his dogs, long hair and the color pink. “He also loved his country and was very patriotic,” Hunt added.
Lamke is survived by three siblings and his parents. A tribute gathering was held last Sunday morning at the Miners Memorial Building in Virginia.
Lamke’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, at the Miners Memorial building. The visitation begins at 10 a.m. and the celebration of life service following at 11 a.m. The public is reminded to wear face masks and socially distance.
A GoFundMe page has since been organized by Hunt, to raise funds for the family to cover funeral costs. The goal for this fund is $20,000. As of Monday afternoon, 73 donors have contributed a total of $4,020. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com by searching Alaric Lamke Fund. Checks can also be sent to Hunt at 9013 E Wakemup Village Rd, Cook, MN 55723.
Another event called “Ride for Alaric”- an ATV tribute ride - has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 12. This is an ATV, dirtbike and side-by-side memorial ride. A fire will follow after the outing.
Riders are being asked to meet at the Britt Recreation Center located on Old Sand Lake Rd, off the Britt Bypass. The gathering begins at noon with the ride leaving at 1 p.m.
Donations will be collected for the Lamke family at the event.
If you or a loved one need additional support, contact the Range Mental Health Mobile Crisis Unit by calling 218-288-2100. They are available for calls and visits 24 hours per day and offer services free of charge.