NEW CANAAN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — For the first time, we are hearing about how the family of 16-year-old Teddy Balkind is doing after his tragic death.
The sophomore at St. Luke’s died last week during an on-ice incident at a hockey game in Connecticut.
READ MORE: New Canaan High School Student Teddy Balkind Dies After Colliding With Another Player During Hockey Game
In a letter to parents at St. Luke’s, head of school Mark Davis, says contrary to previous reports, Teddy did not fall on the ice prior to being fatally injured during a junior varsity hockey game last week.
Instead, Davis says of Teddy, “He was skating upright and low. During the normal course of play, another player’s leg momentarily went into the air and, through no fault of anyone’s, or any lack of control, his skate cut Teddy.”
Davis adds, “These boys were excellent skaters, playing a great and fair game when an unimaginable accident wreaked havoc.”
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, it’s an accident that has left many who loved Teddy suffering from profound grief.
Kris Ebner-Martin runs Camp Awosting where Balkind spent several summers.
“Teddy was a light that has been extinguished way too soon. He was funny. He was vivacious,” she said. “You always knew when he walked in a room because the biggest smile in the room was his.”
Meanwhile in the letter, Davis adds it was important for Teddy’s parents to clarify what happened to him, saying, “Despite their profound grief, the Balkinds are deeply concerned about the well-being of the hockey players and coaches from both schools.”
READ MORE: NHL And More Pay Tribute To Teddy Balkind, Connecticut Teen Who Died After High School Hockey Game Injury
Davis goes on to praise the coaches, players and medical staff along with doctors at Greenwich Hospital that helped Teddy, saying they acted heroically.
Meanwhile, Davis says Teddy’s parents, Leslie and Buck, see what happened as a terrible accident.
Many of Teddy’s friends agree.
“He was so positive. He didn’t do anything without doing it with a smile on his face,” said friend Sam Brande.
“He was always happy. Like, no matter what,” friend Andrew Baker said. “He’d raise everyone’s spirits, even though everyone’s feeling down. He’d be like the sunshine.”
Davis ends his letter saying the Balkind family knows the two teams involved are now carrying the weight of this tragedy on their shoulders. The hope is that by clarifying what happened, some of that weight can be lifted and the healing process can begin.
As a result of Teddy’s death, one of his friends has started a petition urging USA Hockey to start requiring neck guards for players.
MORE NEWS: Death Of 16-Year-Old Hockey Player Teddy Balkind Prompts Push To Mandate Neck Guards
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.
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