A Tempe teenager died Monday in a sledding accident south of Flagstaff, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said.
The victim is identified as 17-year-old Jake McGrady. The accident took place in the Mountainaire area off of Interstate 17.
McGrady underwent surgery at Flagstaff Medical Center and was later pronounced dead. He suffered multiple and serious external and internal injuries consistent with blunt force trauma, deputies said.
"It was just a freak accident. They just hit a tree, and he broke a couple of ribs," said Nick Martinez, McGrady's close friend, who was not on the trip.
"One thing led to another and it escalated and they had to do experimental surgery in the intensive care unit. He was just bleeding out too much from the lower abdominal area and he just passed away," said Martinez.
The sheriff's office said they learned that the boy had traveled to Flagstaff on Sunday with at least 10 of his high school classmates and two of their parents. The group spent the night at a local motel.
On Monday, the group traveled to the Mountainaire area, where they engaged in various snow play activities on a hill that showed signs of frequent and recent snow play, deputies said. Although the snow was firmly packed and the down slope of the hill was conducive to sledding, the area had not received any intentional or professional improvements.
McGrady was seated first on a plastic sled with one additional occupant seated behind him. As they descended down the hill, for some unknown reason, the occupants lost control of the sled and it slammed into a tree at a high speed.
The teen took the brunt of the impact and the other person on the sled suffered minor injuries, sheriff's deputies said.
Tuesday evening, friends and students wore orange shirts with McGrady's junior varsity football number, 81, on them. A moment of silence was held before the game.
"Everybody loved Jake. He was just a great guy. He was one of the funniest guys I met," said Martinez.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
UPDATETempe teenager killed in Northern Arizona sled accidentMore>>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:58 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:58:52 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:06 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:06:54 GMT
A Williams man is in custody in connection with the fatal shooting of an Ashfork teenager, northern Arizona authorities said. John A. Willis, 53, was taken into custody Tuesday, said Coconino County sheriff'sMore >
John A. Willis, 53, was taken into custody Tuesday, said Coconino County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tim Cornelius.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:56:01 GMT
(RNN) – Of the 24 killed in the EF-5 tornado that decimated Moore, OK, 10 are children - two of which are infants according to a release by the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. All the childrenMore >
The last of the missing from Monday's massive tornado that tore through the town of Moore, OK, have been accounted for. More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:18 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:18:16 GMT
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family"My heart goes out to them, because I understand," says Dan Marco, who's son Zachary was murdered in 2010.ZacharyMore >
Only people who have lost a close loved one can understand the pain of Travis Alexander's family.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:47:53 GMT
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English. "I'd say at least 50 percent ofMore >
A former flight instructor who taught foreign flight students at one of the Valley's pilot schools told CBS 5 Investigates the students often could barely speak English.More >