HAUBSTADT, Ind. (WEHT/WTVW) — Mitchell Steckler’s former Little League coach says the empty spot in the dugout is nothing compared to the giant hole left in his family, friends, and teammates hearts.
Brian Alldredge, former Little League coach of Streckler’s, said, He played baseball, basketball, and ran cross-country. He was just your everyday good kid — he was a great kid.”
Just a week after winning it all in a Little League 11-U tournament, little did Steckler’s family, friends and teammates think they’d have that much more to lose.
Alldredge said, “I just couldn’t believe it, just sad, just the same way everybody else in town, just heartbroken for the family.”
The 11-year-old lost his life with one sharp turn, doing the one thing he loved more than baseball: farming.
Steckler was crushed by his side-by-side ATV on Tuesday afternoon in the field he was farming with his family off Gibson County Road 350. But this accident was a little different than the others, according to Indiana conservation officers.
Matt Clark, an Indiana conservation officer said, “It wasn’t a situation of him out riding around down the roadway being reckless. It’s one of those unfortunate incidents where you know an accident happens.”
The vehicle also was different than most in ATV crashes, as it was a side by side, a vehicle potentially more powerful than a normal ATV. The side by side’s roll cage landed on top of the boy.
Steckler was not wearing a helmet or a seat belt.
Clark said that “there’s no way we can tell that, but I do think that it could have significantly reduced the chances of him being seriously hurt or killed.”
Alldredge says the Haubstadt Little League plans on remembering Mitchell by playing with his initials on their helmets this season and hopefully for more seasons to come.