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Hafen student, 11, killed in rollover

Students and faculty members at Hafen Elementary School will hold a special observance for a student who died from injuries sustained in a single vehicle rollover accident last Sunday.

Seth Snelling, a fifth grader at the school, was ejected from a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by his father about 24 miles north of Baker.

Nevada Highway Patrol’s Loy Hixson said the 11-year-old was traveling with his father Russell Snelling, 44, to visit the boy’s mother in California when the accident occurred last Sunday morning.

“The Barstow Communication Center received a 9:30 a.m. report of a solo rollover traffic collision on State Route 127. Hixon said. “Russell Snelling was driving northbound on State Route 127 and for unknown reasons he allowed his vehicle to drift onto the east dirt shoulder. He then attempted to re-enter the roadway to the left, but lost control as the vehicle started to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. The vehicle continued to rotate out of control across the roadway where it struck a dirt berm on the west shoulder of the roadway.

“The impact caused the vehicle to overturn in the open desert where the 11-year-old male passenger, who was not wearing his seat belt, was ejected during the rollover sequence. The young man was pronounced deceased at the scene by Baker Ambulance EMT. Mr. Snelling suffered minor injuries and was transported to UMC-Las Vegas by Baker emergency crews,” Hixon said.

Hafen Elementary students and faculty are still shocked at losing the young boy.

“He was a good, mild-mannered, hardworking young man.” said Hafen Elementary School Principal Kenny Weaver. “We are going to do a balloon release in his honor along with a moment of silence.”

The traffic collision is still under investigation by the Barstow California Highway Patrol office.

It is unknown whether alcohol or drugs contributed to the rollover crash.

Snelling is one of two young students whose lives were cut short in as many months.

A seventh grade Rosemary Clark Middle School student unexpectedly died just last month.

Family members have yet to announce funeral service plans for Snelling.

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