After teen dies in crash, a football game tries to heal

Randy Peterson, a volunteer firefighter with the Ada, Minn., fire department, got a call on Sunday night to respond to a car accident. The car was on fire.

Peterson’s son, Carter, 16, wasn’t home yet.

“I started calling him,” Peterson tells WDAY’s Robin Huetner. “I called him all the way to the scene,” but his son didn’t answer.

When he arrived on the scene, the car was upside down.

“I saw the tires, and I knew it was him,” he said.

The young man was just 10 miles from home after dropping his girlfriend off at her house.

“Just hug your kids every night, tell them that you love them every day,” Peterson told Huetner.

It was supposed to be senior night at Wednesday night’s Ada-Borup football game. Peterson was a junior starter on the squad.

The visiting Cass Lake players formed a drum circle to honor Carter, presented a gift of wild rice, and hugged the Peterson family and the Ada-Borup team members.

“Football is family and if one team loses a son or a daughter, whoever’s playing on it, then we all lose a brother,” said Bryan Sathre, Cass Lake Head Coach.

At kickoff, only 8 players took the field, leaving Carter’s spot empty.

  • Justin McKinney

    What a tragic loss – hats off to the response from the community and opposing team. I am a volunteer firefighter in my hometown, and every time there’s a call like that, one of the first things I do is ask my teenage son where he is. It’s an unfortunate part of the volunteer EMS life.

  • Mike Worcester

    A wonderful gesture on the part of the CL-B team.

  • Veronica

    Ooof– this is bringing back memories of something similar happening my senior year of HS. Such a painful thing for kids to go through.