Local child dies after fall from pickup truck

By Melissa Burnor
PALMYRA — A seven-year-old boy died Monday evening after falling from a pickup on Sharp Road near Ogden Highway in Palmyra Township. The boy is a second-grade student at Blissfield Elementary School.
According to a press release from Lenawee County Undersheriff Jim Anderson, deputies responded to a serious accident at approximately 7:47 p.m. A pickup driven by Jeremy Halter, 33, pulling a trailer allegedly attempted to exit a driveway onto Sharp Road. Both the pickup and the trailer were filled with scrap metal and a 10-year old and a seven-year old were riding in the bed of the truck. Upon entering the roadway from the driveway, the seven-year old boy, Ethan Halter, fell from the bed of the truck and struck his head on the paved road.
Ethan Halter was taken by helicopter to St. Vincent’s Medical Center where he later passed away.
Blissfield Elementary Principal Michael Valasek, who confirmed the boy was a student there, said the school was notified of the tragedy during the night and were able to make decisions on how to tell elementary students about their classmate on Tuesday.
“We made the decision to directly communicate with the classrooms directly affected,” Valasek said.
Ethan Halter also has a sibling who attends school. Students in both the boy’s and the sibling’s classroom were told directly.
All students will be sent home with a letter explaining what had happened. Parents can choose to continue the discussion at home or utilize counseling services with their children through the school.
“It has been a difficult day here,” he said on Tuesday.
Valasek said additional counselors will be available in the elementary school for students and staff members who might need to talk to someone throughout the week.
Valasek said counseling services will be available as long as needed. Hospice of Lenawee has also been contacted and has grief services they will offer at the school.
He has reached out to the family. Valesek said Ethan Halter was a very well-liked young man.
“As a representative of Blissfield Community Schools, our most sincere condolences go out to the family,” he said.
He said the elementary school will have a “hat day” on Friday along with spirit day for homecoming to raise money to aid the family.
Valasek said a gofundme.com account was to be set up for the family by another family members but the school did not have any more information at the time.
Police are still investigating the accident.