Vigil held for teens killed, injured in Big Lake crash

Vigil held for teens killed, injured in Big Lake crash

Vigil held for teens killed, injured in Big Lake crash

The Elk River Elks football team, family and friends gathered at Fresno Park to wish a teen car crash victim a speedy recovery Monday night.

Charles Gabrelcik was one of three teens involved in an early Saturday morning car crash.

“That kid loves fishing and he plays hockey, football and baseball. He’s on the go all the time and he’s funny and he loves his family,” Tracy Tougas, Charles’ aunt, said.

The 17-year-old is in critical condition, but family members said they’re seeing positive progress and there are no signs of traumatic brain injuries.

A prayer circle of hundreds took up space in Fresno Park hoping Charles makes it back home.

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s just really surreal. It’s terrible what happened to him and his friends. It’s a miracle that he’s alive,” Nate Gabrelcik, Charles’ brother, said.

The Elk River football team organized a vigil to show Charles he’s not fighting alone.

“Terrible, but we take one day at a time or an hour at a time,” Tougas said.

The 17-year-old was seriously injured in a crash in Big Lake around 2:45 a.m. early Saturday morning.

A Minnesota State Patrol incident report said a Big Lake police department officer was going south on Highway 25, when he saw a BMW speeding near Tarrytown Road.

The report said the officer turned around to stop the car when the BMW rolled off the road near Pleasant Avenue.

Two of Charles’ friends, Donovan Paul Gobel and Anthony Scott Krider, who were in the car with him, died at the scene.

Charles is now in the hospital fighting for his life.

“He’s going to fight through everything he’s going through right now. It helps he’s hard on himself because he can do it and we all know,” Charles’ teammate said.

Friends, family and teammates were on a facetime call with Charles during the vigil to show him who’s waiting for him when he makes it out the hospital.

“All the hate and everything that goes around in school, but like when something like this happens, it’s like everyone comes together and shows their love for the person,” Chloe LaForce, vigil attendee, said.

A GoFundme has been set up to support the family and Charles’ road to recovery.