Candlelight vigil to be held Wednesday

Dylan Tyler Mullins, 12, was expected to begin seventh grade at Betsy Layne Elementary this fall. 

A 12-year-old child died following a crash in Little Mud Creek on Saturday evening. 

Dylan Mullins, 12, died after crashing his dirt bike into a pickup truck on the Dry Branch area of Little Mud Creek. The son of Shauna Mullins of Teaberry and Roy Rogers of Grethel, Dylan was a student at Betsy Layne Elementary and he also previously attended John M. Stumbo Elementary. 

Kentucky State Police reported that the agency received a 911 call about the crash just after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15.

“When troopers arrived on the scene it was determined a 12-year-old male was operating a dirt bike on the highway when the collision occurred. Due to the severity of the accident, the operator of the motorcycle was deceased at the scene,” KSP reported in a press release. 

BLES Vice Principal Ebony Doderer said she was in shock after hearing about Dylan’s death. She said she never thought she’d see something like that happen to a BLES student. 

“It puts things in perspective,” Doderer said. “Worrying about if your house is clean, or if this is done — at the end of the day, those little small things, they don’t matter. It’s life, and life is unexpected. We can make plans all we want, but there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to fulfill those plans. So, you’ve got to enjoy the moment with the ones that you love.”

Doderer said Dylan sttended John M. Stumbo Elementary for a few months during the past school year, but he was set to return to BLES as a seventh grader at the start of the new school year in August. She described him as an outgoing, well-like child.

She called him “a great kid” who “loved his dirt bike.” 

“Dylan is one of those kids that if you ask him something, he’s just, he was just going to tell you about it,” she said. “He was very, very close with his mom. Anytime time there was anything, he’d always, always tell his mom everything … and the kids loved him. It didn’t matter what class he was in, what group of kids he was in, he was always just there with the kids having a good time.” 

At the request of Dylan’s family, the school is hosting a candlelight vigil for him at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19. 

“I reached out to his mom and I just let her know that the school would be available if she wanted to use it and she said that she wanted to have a vigil in his honor on Wednesday,” Doderer said. “So, Wednesday at 7, the public, the family, students, everyone is invited to come out.”

The school has been collecting photos of Dylan that will be used in a slideshow at the vigil. Doderer said BLES offered grief counselors, starting on Tuesday, and will continue offering grief counselors for students from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday and during the vigil. Doderer said the school will also offer counselors during the first week of the new school year in the fall. 

KSP Spokesperson Trooper William Petry called the crash an “unfortunate accident.” 

He said the Dylan was likely not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, reporting he died of head trauma. The name of the driver of the truck was not released. 

The KSP reported that no charges have been filed related to the crash and toxicology tests are pending. 

In addition to his parents, Dylan is survived by his grandparents Ronald Hall of Grethel and Blanche Polley of Pikeville, his siblings Krystal Sowards of Rush and Johnathan Sowards, Lonnie Thacker, Delena R. Sowards and Nicole Sowards, all of Pike-

ville, and other family members and friends. 

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, at the River of Life Freewill Baptist Church in Grethel. 

Doderer said donations are requested to help cover the cost of funeral expenses. They may be dropped off at the funeral home or mailed to: Nelson Frazier Funeral Home; Funeral Expenses for Dylan Mullins’, P.O. Box 1609, Martin, Kentucky 41649.  

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