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12-year old killed while skiing on Duluth area mountain

The 12-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered when he hit a tree while skiing at Spirit Mountain on Friday afternoon has been identified as Trent Stellrecht.

The Grantsburg, Wis., youth was one of 12 children on a ski trip organized by the Living Hope Church near Grantsburg.

"He was a great boy, very busy, very active. ... He liked the outdoors and was always helping his father," said Chris Radtke, the church's youth director.

Radtke said Trent had been on the beginner hill most of the day and then apparently went off on his own to a more challenging hill. The boy apparently was unable to make a turn and skied into an area of trees, where he struck a tree at high speed, Radtke said. Conditions are icy on ski hills after last week's record-high temperatures melted snow that then re-froze.

"I don't know why he was on that hill," Radtke said. "Apparently he thought he was getting good enough. You know how 12-year-old boys are. Everybody was warned that it was going to be fast because of the conditions."

Ski Patrol members found Stellrecht lying on the ground not breathing. Efforts on the hill and at Essentia Health St. Mary's Medical Center failed to revive him.

Funeral services for Trent, the son of Terri and Rob Stellrecht, will be Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Webster, according to an obituary placed in the News Tribune.

Trent's is the first death at Spirit Mountain since 2007, when a Richfield, Minn., man died from injuries suffered on the hill.