After teen dies in crash, a football game tries to heal

Randy Peterson, a volunteer firefighter with the Ada, Minn., fire department, got a call on Sunday night to respond to a car accident. The car was on fire.

Peterson’s son, Carter, 16, wasn’t home yet.

“I started calling him,” Peterson tells WDAY’s Robin Huetner. “I called him all the way to the scene,” but his son didn’t answer.

When he arrived on the scene, the car was upside down.

“I saw the tires, and I knew it was him,” he said.

The young man was just 10 miles from home after dropping his girlfriend off at her house.

“Just hug your kids every night, tell them that you love them every day,” Peterson told Huetner.

It was supposed to be senior night at Wednesday night’s Ada-Borup football game. Peterson was a junior starter on the squad.

The visiting Cass Lake players formed a drum circle to honor Carter, presented a gift of wild rice, and hugged the Peterson family and the Ada-Borup team members.

“Football is family and if one team loses a son or a daughter, whoever’s playing on it, then we all lose a brother,” said Bryan Sathre, Cass Lake Head Coach.

At kickoff, only 8 players took the field, leaving Carter’s spot empty.