Vicksburg teen dies in wreck of four-wheeler

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 21, 2003

An eighth-grader died Monday when the four-wheeler he was riding hit a rough spot and flipped over.

Troy Tillotson, 13-year-old son of Sidney Jr. and Lisa Crew Tillotson, was pronounced dead at River Region Medical Center where he was taken after the midmorning accident on family land off Duncan Road near Bovina.

“He either didn’t see the wash-out or didn’t think it was as deep as it was,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

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Family members performed CPR until paramedics arrived, Pace said, but the teen’s internal injuries were extensive.

“Someone said earlier, he may have died tragically, but he died doing something he loved,'” said Shirley Stuart, a family friend. “He was in his element.”

His brother, Derek, 21, was driving another all-terrain vehicle on the property, but had returned to the family’s equipment barn while Troy was still riding.

“Family members heard Troy’s four-wheeler headed in and then heard it stop,” Pace said. “The older brother then got on his four-wheeler and rode out to where he found Troy.

“The older brother did all he could,” the sheriff said.

School was not in session Monday due to state and federal holidays.

“We will remember his smile, his charisma and his love of life,” Stuart said, who joined others in describing Troy as active and engaged.

He attended Porters Chapel Academy, played football in 2001 and was ready for another baseball season with his Eagle teammates.

“Everyone is taking it hard,” said Randy Wright, PCA baseball coach and junior high football coach. “He was such a good kid.”

His grandmother, Kathy Lutrick, said Troy also loved soccer. He participated in motocross races and won several awards and trophies.

Troy was also an asset to have around the house, Stuart said. He learned to vacuum at 2 years old.

“He was a great cook,” Stuart said. “He loved to grill anything, but steaks were his specialty.”

He was a member of Bovina Baptist Church, where he was in the youth group and participated in the church’s Christmas program for the first time this year.

His mother recalled when Troy was baptized at the age of 8.

“He pushed me aside and went to the front and knelt before the whole church,” she said. “He practically shoved me. I knew then the Lord had called him.”

Stuart said that knowing their son’s faith was helping his parents. “They know his eternity is sealed,” she said.

Riles Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.