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Minnesota hockey community pays tribute to 16-year-old goalie who died in car accident

The crash happened in Meeker County on June 5.

The death of a 16-year-old boy has rocked the City of Litchfield, but Minnesota's hockey community is rallying amid the tragedy to support his family. 

Dylan Falling, a sophomore goalie for the Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato varsity hockey team, was fatally injured in a car accident June 5 on Hwy. 24 near 675th Ave. in Forest City Township, about 8 miles northeast of Litchfield. 

According to the Meeker County Sheriff's Office, Falling and a 16-year-old teammate were in a car that collided with another vehicle. Falling was trapped and had to be extricated by first responders before being airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. 

His teammate was transported to Meeker Memorial Hospital with non-critical injuries, and a 34-year-old Dassel man driving the other vehicle was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening. 

Since news of the crash, there has been a prayer vigil at a park in Litchfield, memorials decorating the crash site and an online fundraiser that has quickly generated more than $8,000 for the LDC Youth Hockey program. 

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"The Falling family is so incredibly touched by everyone's generosity and the love that is being shown for Dylan," the GoFundMe says. "Thank you all so very much. Your gifts are going to bring great things for the hockey organization Dylan loved and for the community that loves him so much."

The proceeds will be used by the youth hockey program to "help us continue Dylan’s legacy in our youth association," LDC Youth Hockey announced. 

Falling's organs will be donated to help others in need, according to his CaringBridge page. Dustin Falling, Dylan's father, wrote: "Time to put on your cape become the super hero we know you are and save countless lives with the exceptional gift of organ donation. So special when one life in death can save so many others."

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