Best friend honors Hugo teen who died in Washington County collision
Family, friends and community members are coming together to remember 16-year-old Samson Walters, who died after getting in a car crash last week.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says he was involved in a three-car crash in the city of Grant near the intersection of Justen Trail North and Jamaca Avenue North.
Hockey sticks, flowers and a cross mark the site of a crash that would eventually take Walters’ life.
“It’s really sad because I used to take that road to him every morning,” Tristan Nguyen said.
Nguyen looks back at his nearly 10-year relationship with his best friend.
“Samson was like nobody else I ever met. He was like, the happiest kid that that like I ever met. It was almost like he had like a chemical imbalance in his brain, except he was just always happy, always smiling,” Nguyen said.
Walters loved to fish, be outdoors and try different foods. He also had a passion for hockey. He played on the Junior Gold 16 team with the Mahtomedi Youth Hockey Association.
“He was just a ball of energy,” said Tom Larson, who coached Samson last year. “He was very comical, always smiling, never not smiling. He had a very contagious laughter, smile. People were drawn to him. I mean, he made a huge impact on this community.”
Recently, the community showed support by placing hockey sticks on doorsteps. During Saturday’s matchup against Mahtomedi, Cottage Grove paid tribute to the teenager by making patches for both teams’ jerseys.
During some of his last moments, Nguyen was right there with Walters.
“Other people sent me things they wanted me to say to him quick and read them and I was able to whisper those things in his ear and made sure that he knew how much he was loved,” he said.
It’s a life gone too soon, but Nguyen says the family is comforted knowing Walters is in a better place.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the Walters family.