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Coleton was loved 'to the moon and back'
Coleton Wayne Reid Nelson wasn’t the fastest kid on the ice, but the tall, lanky 12-year-old Langley resident was a very, very smart hockey player with a good wrist shot who was especially talented at faking out his opponents.
A former coach says Coleton was usually good for two to three goals a game.
“The kid could score,” Tim Stephenson says.
Coleton played for three Aldergrove teams, the peewee Aldergrove Chiefs, the bantam Aldergrove Bruins and he was an affiliate player who filled in on the peewee Bruins rep team.
His father Wayne loved to watch his boy play, attending every game and practice he could.
His mother Brenda says hockey was the most important thing in Coleton’s life.
“It was his second family,” she told The Times.
Coleton was an expert-level BMX bike racer who mastered snowboarding in one lesson.
“He was good at everything,” his mother says.
His nickname, “Hockey10kid” came from the number on his jersey.
He had many others.
His mother called him “Bunny love” and “mujjjaa” a pet name he earned for his ability to make squished-up faces when he was little.
He was the youngest of three kids and the only boy.
His older sisters Chrystie, 21, and Alecsa, 18, adored their younger brother.
Coleton was their buddy, one they loved “to the moon and back.”
On the ice, he was a confident, cheerful player.
Off the ice, he could be a little shy sometimes, but he was coming out of it.
He was about a head taller than most kids his age, and probably would topped out at 6’4”.
He was more comfortable outdoors playing sports than he was studying in school.
The Grade 7 student at North Otter Elementary loathed band practice, in part because he was supposed to wear a dress shirt and pants, something he firmly, but politely, declined to do. Dressing formally was a pet peeve of his.
He even refused to don a required dress shirt and tie when he played for the rep team, reasoning, correctly, that they would be unlikely to send him home for ignoring the off-ice dress code.
On Friday morning, Feb. 18, a visiting female cousin from Calgary gave Coleton and his best friend a ride in a dark red Mustang hard-top.
The car was traveling eastbound at the intersection of 256 Street and Robertson Crescent about 11:40 a.m. when it collided with a northbound garbage truck.
The larger truck hit the Mustang on the passenger side where Coleton was sitting.
He died instantly.
His 18-year-old cousin was taken to hospital by air ambulance where she remained in critical condition Tuesday.
Coleton’s friend suffered two broken legs and required dozens of stitches and staples, but the 12-year-old boy is expected to survive.
According to police, the garbage truck had the right of way.
Investigators said speed and alcohol were not the cause of the crash.
Since Friday, hundreds of people have posted messages on two memorial sites set up for Coleton on the Facebook social network website.
“...we were thinking back to when Coleton raced BMX that no matter how he finished in the race, he always had a great smile on his face from ear to ear,” Barb Brady-Milnes wrote.
“I am sure you will be playing your game on a much bigger rink now with perfect ice!” Casey Toews wrote. “Game on, friend!”
A funeral service is tentatively planned for next week.
The family is asking people who attend the service to dress for a hockey game and leave the formal black outfits at home in favour of the casual, more colourful garb that Coleton preferred.
A “Coleton Nelson Memorial Tournament” is being considered by the Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association board of directors.
So is a scholarship.
The Langley school district said grief counselors were being made available at Coleton’s school.
District spokesman Craig Spence says people in the school system were shocked and saddened by the news.
“It’s going to take time for the school community to heal,” Spence says.
Langley RCMP continue to investigate and would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the driving pattern of either vehicle prior to the collision or at the site of the collision itself.