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Posted on Mon, May 23, 2011 : 9:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti hockey player Ian Jenkins, 15, dies today after fall from pickup truck

By Juliana Keeping

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details about the accident

A promising young hockey player from Ypsilanti died today as a result of a head injury suffered last week, the University of Michigan Health System confirmed.

Ian Jenkins fell from the bed of a pick-up truck around 4 p.m. Thursday in Milan, according the Milan Police Department.


Ian Jenkins

Jenkins had been sitting on top of the truck bed cover in the back of a friend’s late-1990s red Ford Ranger with his feet on the bumper just before the accident, Milan Police Chief Jeff Lewis said Monday.

A 16-year-old friend of Jenkins' had driven the truck in alleyways in Milan’s Uptown Village behind four or five houses before turning right onto Eisenhower Lane.

The truck traveled about 15 yards before Jenkins either jumped or fell off the truck.

“We’ll never know for sure,” Lewis said.

“When he went to land on the asphalt, he either struck his head on the back of the truck or asphalt.”

The driver didn’t see what happened, and several witnesses were a distance away from the truck at the time of the accident, Lewis said.

His friend saw Jenkins lying on the road and called 911, Lewis said.

Jenkins was unconscious when emergency medical responders arrived, Lewis said.

The vehicle had been moving at or under 10 miles per hour, Lewis said. Speed did not appear to be a factor.

The accident is still under investigation.

Jenkins was a sophomore at Milan High School, Superintendent Bryan Girbach said this morning. And he was most recently a goalie for the Belle Tire Midget Minor AAA U-16 team, an elite youth level team which competes against some of the best clubs in the state and nation.

“We want to let everyone know that as he always did, Ian battled right up to the final buzzer, but he lost at 7:54 this morning,” Ian’s father, Joel Jenkins, said in a statement this morning. “He will be missed. We thank everyone for everything they have done over the past few days.”

Jenkins, 15, underwent six to seven hours of brain surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital, his long-time coach, Mike Hamilton, said Monday.

Hundreds of former teammates and friends came to the hospital to visit Jenkins, Hamilton said, after it became clear he would not recover.

"Everyone had tears, they were telling stories, laughing and celebrating his life. They (Ian's family) think that’s one of the reasons Ian was sticking around. So everyone could come see him and deal with it in their own way."

Jenkins had been picked in a recent draft by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, a development league for professional and major college prospects. He was one of the top goaltending prospects in the draft.

The accident occurred Thursday in a quiet subdivision in the 1300 block of Eisenhower Lane. Jenkins was transported to the University of Michigan Hospital, where he remained in critical condition until this morning.

"It was his dream “to make it to the highest levels of hockey,” his father, Joel Jenkins, said in the statement. “No matter what happens, he had the happiest two weeks of his life leading up to that day, and all of us on Ian’s family ‘team’ were thrilled to be part of that.

"The outpouring of support has been overwhelming and has showed us how much Ian means to everyone — not just because he’s great at stopping hockey pucks, but because he is an extraordinary young man," Joel Jenkins said in the statement.

The accident is still under investigation, police said.

Milan schools have grief counselors available to assist students today, Girbach said. "My understanding from the administration is that he was a wonderful student and has been an active part of Milan High School and we mourn the loss of any student and just want to be there for the famiy, the community and the student body during this difficult time," Girbach said.

Jenkins is the fourth Milan Area Schools student to have died this year. "The death of a student is always a tragedy for a school district. We handle each one individually," Girbach said.

This story will be updated.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Mon, May 23, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

Sad beyond all words. Our thoughts and prayers to the Jenkins family and close friends, may your faith bring you some level of comfort during this difficult time.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

This is a tradgedy and one any parent has nightmares about. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. They will need the support of the entire community to get through this. I can't imagine the pain and sorrow.

cheryl grace

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

Ian's family and friends may be interested to read this headline story about Ian in today's Owen Sound Sun Times, of Owen Sound, Ontario, a big hockey city. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

thanks for sharing. nice to know his organs are helping others.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 10:34 p.m.

That was, indeed, a very fine article. Thank you for sharing that with us.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

Our thoughts and deepest prayers go out to the family. Nobody should ever experience the pain of their precious child's death.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

Let us delete the&quot;condolence&quot; messages which have other channels. Especially if comments relative to the circumstances of the accident or preventability thereof are also going to be deleted. They are needlessly repetitive. And really there is nothing left to post without getting deleted.

Monica R-W

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

Roadman, what is wrong with posting condolence messages? That is one of the only things that should be allowed to be posted on a story like this, unless an individual knew Ian or his family personally. In this case, I am sure that they will send their condolences to the Jenkins family, in person. Others, who want to send condolences message who may not know the Jenkins family personally, this article is one way to do so.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

This tragedy sends shockwaves through our entire community. My thoughts and prayers are with Ian's family and his many, many friends.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

Wow. It amazes me that the thing people are concerned with is that he was not from &quot;Ann Arbor.&quot; A lot of people consider Milan a suburb almost of Ann arbor. I know a few people who live in Ypsi and go to Milan Schools. Regardless, who cares where he is from? A person has died. Not ALL news has to be STRICTLY from Ann Arbor. Milan is still in the Ann Arbor &quot;area&quot;. Same as Chelsea, Whitmore Lake, Saline, and countless other cities. I completely agree with Tom. Commenting should never be open on these type of stories to begin with.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 6:29 p.m.

@Stephanie Darrow: I don't see any comments concerned with Milan being outside of Ann Arbor. The only thing close is: yourdad at 12:03 PM on May 23, 2011 This comment is hidden because you have chosen to ignore yourdad . Show DetailsHide Details Does anyone else wonder why this title isn't about a local student? Is his hockey the main reason that we are just hearing about this 4 days after it occurred? I'm quite sure that the comment was not Milan vs local, but an article on the untimely passing of a hockey player today vs a story on a terrible accident afflicting a local student four days ago. My read is local student vs hockey player as opposed to local student vs non-local student. Either way, tragic story. Thoughts and prayers to family and friends.

John A2

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

WOW, stories like this always hit me hard and deep in the gut. He had a strong hunger to live and achieve. My thoughts go out to his family. He is with God now and he needs to suffer no more pain. Sorry for your great lose and may God be with you all through this time of morning. Ian Jenkins R.I.P.

fight hunger

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

i am so sorry to hear this sad news he was just a baby my prayers go to the family stay strong

tom swift jr.

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

I would respectfully suggest that, in all cases like this, close commenting from the beginning. The best case scenario is a comment being removed, to be replaced by your &quot;comment removed&quot; message, that then allows the family to speculate on the content of the removed message. Those with a legitimate need to send condolences can probably find another, more appropriate, manner to do so.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

I have said that since day one here, Tom. Condolences can be made in the obituary section.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

While I agree that people should not be commenting on ways this could have been prevented, I think it would be helpful to know why Ian was in the bed of the pick-up and how he happened to fall out. I truly feel that sharing knowledge about how somthing like this could have happened provides an important lesson to others and could potentially help save lives.

Tony Dearing

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. A reminder that in cases of tragic death, we ask people not to post comments that involve speculation or make statements or pose questions that imply the death could have been prevented. You can find our guidelines here: <a href=""></a>


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

Does anyone else wonder why this title isn't about a local student? Is his hockey the main reason that we are just hearing about this 4 days after it occurred?

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

sad and condolences to the jenkins family. i remember riding in the back of a pick up all the time years ago. why are is this site reporting facts from a canadian paper? seems strange to me the facts are direct from a local paper?

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

**are not**


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Condolences to Ian's family, friends, and classmates . . . Many people, including entire church congregations, will continue to pray for you all.

Monica R-W

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

My deepest condolences go out to Ian's family at this time. Under the normal order of operations, your children are suppose to outlive you. God must have had a special purpose to take Ian to Heaven at this time. I pray that the Jenkins family will find a way to deal with his loss and remember the joy he brought to them, during his time on Earth.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

So sad. The Jenkins family is in my prayers.