Grandfather of Carleton College crash victim reflects on loss - KMSP-TV

Grandfather of Carleton College crash victim reflects on loss

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The crash that claimed the lives of three Carleton College students has shaken the community in Northfield, Minn., and the grandfather of one of the victims tells Fox 9 News he feels like he lost a son.

Paxton Harvieux was among the three Ultimate Frisbee teammates who died after the Toyota 4-Runner he was traveling in spun out into the pathway of an oncoming semi on Highway 3 at County Road 47 on Friday. The students were fewer than 3 miles away from campus and conditions were icy at the time, responders observed.

"He was the son I never had," Dave Harvieux said.

The 21-year-old whose empathy touched many lives was very much the apple of his grandfather's eye.

"He was an excellent student, a very good athlete, but he was also a very accomplished artist and a musician -- played three instruments, wrote music," Dave Harvieux described. "Probably, his real passion was computerized music. He was a computer engineering major at Carleton."

The junior was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, along with 20-year-old James Adams, of St. Paul, and 20-year-old Michael Goodgame, of Westport, Conn.

"They were getting a ride to the airport," Dave Harvieux explained. "They were getting on a plane to the Ultimate Frisbee Tournament at Stanford out in California."

The driver, 20-year-old William Sparks, and 19-year-old Connor Eckert both survived the crash. Both remain hospitalized, with Sparks in satisfactory condition and Eckert in serious condition.

Over the weekend, thousands attended a vigil for the crash victims as the loss weighed heavy on the student body.

"A number of his friends and classmates said they're going to try to be more like Paxton -- always have a smile, always try to build the other person up," Dave Harvieux said. "To me, if even a few people that happens, his life was a tremendous success."

Although Dave Harvieux feels like he lost a son and a friend to the crash, he and his family are trying to celebrate the 21 years they were able to enjoy.

"We look back and it's like, 'Man, if we hadn't done that,'" Dave Harvieux said. "So people: Take time. You don't know with friends, family, kids, grandkids."

Although the two shared their last meal barely two weeks ago, Dave Harvieux never expected his grandson would be gone so soon. If he could travel back to talk to him one last time, this is the message he would share:

"I love him, going to miss him," Dave Harvieux said. "I lost my grandson. I lost as close to anybody as I'll ever have as a son, and I lost a good friend."

Families of all three crash victims are still making funeral arrangements. Crash investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor, and the vehicle the students were traveling is currently being held for evidence. More information about the exact cause of the crash is expected on Monday.

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