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Candle light vigil held at Michigan Center for friends lost at Faster Horses

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 6:45 PM EDT
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MICHIGAN CENTER, Mich. (WILX) - Hundreds of people packed the stands of the Michigan Center High School football field Monday night to remember three lives lost too soon to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The three were staying in a camper near the Faster Horses music festival at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend. Law enforcement authorities say a generator nearby is likely to blame.

They are being remembered as good friends, and Monday’s crowd showed just how much they meant to the community.

The community gathered to remember Richie Mays Jr., Dawson Brown and Kole Sova.

Friends and family embraced each other as they talk about their memories involving the men. A memorial was set up with their jerseys and flowers in honor of their time at Michigan Central.

Troy Allen, Michigan Center’s principal and football coach, and Superintendent Brady Cook remembered the men as the true embodiment of what it means to be a Cardinal.

“These kids were the perfect example of the cardinal way,” Allen said. “Great families. They’re a model of what you say with that phrase and their legacy will live.”

Cook said, “You couldn’t help but be close to these guys because they were so dynamic. They had an energy to them that you just wanted to be around them. They made everyone around them better.”

Earlier Monday evening News 10 spoke with the parents of Kole Sova and the aunt of Richie Mays Jr. They say it’s been a tough few days, but they’re grateful for the memories.

Brown, Mays and Sova were great friends who grew up together. According to Sova’s parents-- Jerry and Meeka-- all three of their families are very close.

Meeka said, “Kole and Richie had graduated together. Richie’s mom and I were both out there Friday night. So, we were together with the boys, we were all at the concert together.”

Jerry said, “We’ve travelled with them. We’ve done trips when we played travel basketball. We’ve been in the stands when they were all in sports together.” Mays’s Aunt, Tina Curl, says their loss has been devastating to the whole community.

Curl said, “We’re still numb from it. Still just trying to reel it all in. We just got hit so hard.”

A big message the Sova family wanted people to remember is to be mindful of the dangers of carbon monoxide. They say, when this is all over, they hope to start an awareness campaign to help others avoid this tragedy.

There were two survivors in the incident. 20-year-old Rayfield Johnson and 20-year-old Kurtis Stitt are being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

They remain in critical condition as of Monday night.

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