Porch lights across Minnesota are being left on in a tribute to a high school senior killed by a suspected drunken driver.
The funeral of Colton Nelson, from Sandstone, Minnesota, will be held at the East Central High School gym Monday. And hundreds of well-wishers are responding to a Facebook call to honor his memory by leaving their porch lights on between Sunday and Tuesday.
The 17-year-old star football and basketball player was killed in a crash last Monday near his family's farm in Sandstone. The car he was driving was hit by a truck driven by a 34-year-old man suspected of being drunk at the wheel, WCCO reports.
Nelson was driving his sister and a friend at the time, who were both injured in the incident.
The "Porch Lights for Colton" appeal generated a response from not just Minnesotans – people living in states including Wyoming, Florida and even Alaska left a light shining for the East Central Homecoming King.
His death has prompted an outpouring of grief in his hometown, with counselors brought in to provide support to his classmates.
"If you think about the kind of kid you want to have in school, he's that kind of kid," his mother Kayla told KSTP.
"Colton was quick with a smile, and sometimes a prank, often followed by his trademark grin," she added on the Facebook page. "He was as comfortable on the basketball court as he was on the seat of the family vintage tractor at a threshing show."
"He relished being surrounded by people and being the center of attention," she added. "Colton was kind, funny and a true source of joy in so many people's lives."
A memorial website was created for Nelson to raise money for his funeral, as well as a school and church memorial, with more than $2,300 being donated so far.