MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities have identified a 9-year-old boy who died in a dirt biking accident Friday night in Oak Grove.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Paul Lenzmeier identified the victim as Nicholas Engler. Authorities say his father, Robert Engler, is the Oak Grove Assistant Fire Chief.
Lenzmeier says Nick Engel headed out on his motocross bike just before 7 p.m. Friday on the 19600 block of Dogwood Avenue in the city of Oak Grove, when some of his friends went inside to get their sandals on, so they could watch him, and when they came out, Nick was on the ground, without a pulse.
Investigators say the boy suffered significant head trauma, despite his helmet. An emergency helicopter was called, but Nicholas Engler was pronounced dead before it arrived.
“Every safety precaution was taken. The boy was wearing a helmet, chest guard, he was also wearing boots, gloves, and he was an avid motocross biker. Certainly the father and family knew inherent risks and protected their family the best they could, with the protection equipment they used that day,” said Lt. Lenzmeier. “I have an 8-year-old, 11-and 12-year-old, and I cannot comprehend the pain that is going through the family.”
Oak Grove Fire Chief Curt Hallerman said the Rob Engler was the first on scene to try and revive his son, after the boy’s friends ran to his nearby home for help.
“His father was trained in all lifesaving efforts and did that for his son, like I said, every possible safety precaution was taken on this, in this event, you know, life is precious, it’s short, and we don’t know when our time is going to come, Lenzmeier said.
“It’s difficult at any call to lose a child, but to lose a child of one of your own, it certainly hits home a little harder,” said Hallerman.
Nicholas Engler would’ve turned 10-years-old next month.
“He was a really outdoorsy child, he liked getting out, not only with motocross, he liked to fish and spend time with the family, very energetic, go on bike rides, regular bike rides and play outdoors a lot. He certainly will be missed,” Hallerman said.
Hallerman said the close knit community within the volunteer department and Oak Grove will grieve along with the family.
“Even my own daughter knows him and goes to school with him, so it’s been a very difficult day,” he said.
Nick was a fourth grader at Cedar Creek Community School, confirmed district superintendent Edward Saxton, of St. Francis, ISD 15.
Saxton says the district is working hard to put counseling in place for the kids and staff on Monday.
Sheriff’s investigators say there were no witnesses who saw Nick crash his bike.
Autopsy results could reveal more about how he died.