A seventh-grader died while on a skiing outing at Lonesome Pines in Fort Kent. Credit: Jessica Potila / St. John Valley Times

FORT KENT, Maine — A 12-year-old boy died March 23 while skiing with his classmates at Lonesome Pine Trails in Fort Kent.

Ethan Townsend, a seventh grade student at Valley Rivers Middle School, was attending a Winter Wellness Day for the school at the ski hill at the time.  

Fort Kent Police Chief Michael DeLena described the circumstances of Townsend’s death as a “tragic skiing accident.”

Chief DeLena declined to comment on the cause of Townsend’s death as it is being investigated by the medical examiner.

Ambulance Service Inc. of Fort Kent responded to Lonesome Pines and provided life saving measures at the site and during transport to Northern Maine Medical Center, DeLena said.

“The community as a whole is saddened by this tragic and sudden loss of someone so young and innocent. On behalf of myself and the town of Fort Kent, our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the Townsend family, and the Valley Rivers Middle School community,” DeLena said.

“This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students,” Superintendent Ben Sirois wrote in a letter addressed to parents and students.

In response to the tragedy, the school has made a crisis intervention team available to support students, parents and school personnel. The administration is saddened by the loss to the school community and will do everything they can to help students and parents, Sirois said.

“This tragedy is a shock to the entire MSAD 27 school community,” Sirois said. “We are very saddened for the family, friends, and school staff. We offer our deepest condolences to the family and will keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”