An area community is mourning the loss of a teenager who was about to start his senior year of high school. He died after being in an car accident over the weekend and although he was young, he left a lasting impact behind.
The baseball field at Galesburg High School is quiet with only a few days of summer vacation left. However, when it's time to play ball here again and noise fills the bleachers from cheering fans someone will be missing. That someone is 16-year-old Jason Maulden.
"Jason was definitely one of those boys that you definitely wanted to know as a human being. He's just a wonderful young man," said Arnie Gonzalez, Maulden's baseball coach.
Maulden was on his way home from a baseball tournament with his grandfather and his mom. Their vehicle lost control near Ottawa, Illinois, overturning multiple times.
"You come to love these kids and care for who they are and tragic occurrence like this happens, it's heartbreaking," said Gonzalez.
Maulden's grandfather died at the scene on Saturday. Maulden fought to survive, but sadly passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2014. Maulden was an all-conference baseball player, an honor student and as his baseball coach says, just a great kid with a promising future.
"I know he wanted to go to college and I know he wanted to play some baseball," said Maulden.
Even though this school year or even the baseball field won't be the same without him, Gonzalez says he knows Maulden won't be far away.
"He's going to be with us. He'll be in our dugout with us. He'll be on all of our trips when we're away. I know he will be with us one way or another," said Gonzalez.
Maulden's mother suffered injuries but is doing okay. The family has decided to make Maulden an organ donor. The school district says there will be counselors at school for students and teachers to talk to.