TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) A Magic Valley family is devastated after the death of their 10-year-old son, who was involved in an ATV accident that occurred on Sept. 6.
Friends of the family confirmed Blake Gartner was involved in the accident, and according to local law enforcement, he had fallen into a Twin Falls canal.
Jill Adepoju, a close friend of the family, started a Facebook donation page, which has raised more than $27,000 to help with the expenses.
Adepoju said Blake's smile was contagious wherever he went.
"When I think of Blake, I just think of kindness, so sweet, such a tender heart and like a huge heart," she said.
The young boy had just started fourth grade at Immanuel Lutheran Chruch. Jaclynn Vargas, an educator at the school, said Blake's friends were heartbroken over the loss. Vargas explained how Blake loved sports and played football with his friends.
"It was really hard the first time, on Monday nobody played football," Vargas said. "You know Blake would want to see his friends play."
Vargas is also friends with Blake's mom, who as a parent would be involved in school activities. She said counselors from other schools have reached out to lend their services and the school has been providing support to staff and students.
"Teaching the children there are going to be cries, there are going to be tears," Vargas said. "Don't be afraid of that, the tears are for us, not for Blake. The tears are for us, his family and I try to teach the kids that. And everyone when I say if anybody has a prayer request in the morning, and there's not one that has not said 'Blake.'"
Blake leaves an everlasting impression on all who knew him.
"It's amazing what that little smile did," Vargas said.
There's a Facebook fundraiser account set up, if anyone wishes to donate and help out the family with expenses.
There is also a “In Memory of Blake Gartner” account open at First Federal Bank, where checks can be mailed or taken to any branch. Checks should be made out to Julie Gartner.
Adepoju relayed a message to KMVT that the Gartner family is grateful from the community's generosity.