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Teen killed in hiking accident was friend to all at Bonanza High School

Andrew Sasse


Andrew Sasse

Updated Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 12:32 p.m.

A Bonanza High School senior killed Monday while hiking at Red Rock Canyon is being remembered for his leadership, friendly smile and kind spirit.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the boy as 17-year-old Andrew Sasse. He had been hiking with some other teens on Memorial Day.

Metro Police say he fell about midday Monday in the Calico Tanks area of the Calico Basin. Authorities say there were no witnesses to the accident because the teen had gone off on his own. His body was found after he failed to meet up with the rest of the group.

Metro Lt. Tom Monahan said a helicopter was used in the recovery.

Former classmate Alex Bybee said Sasse, who was an active member of student government at Bonanza, made a tremendous impact at the school.

“He was just always willing to contribute, always willing to work hard to make sure we put on a solid event for students,” Bybee said. “He was always smiling, he was friends to everyone, and a really big part of the culture at Bonanza.”

Last year, Sasse attended the annual Nevada Boy’s State conference, a weeklong civics-based summer camp for about 200 high school students. At the camp, students essentially govern a mock state, electing officials and passing legislation.

Sasse’s counselor, Meyers Pauslen, said he remembered Sasse staying up until 3 a.m. to help solve issues during the camp. Pauslen said Sasse planned to take on bigger leadership roles in the future and was remembered fondly by both counselors and attendees.

“Clearly this young man impacted the lives of many, not only on our program but all over the state of Nevada,” Paulsen said.

Bonanza High School Principal Northey Henderson sent a message home to parents Tuesday morning informing them of the death.

“Andrew will always be remembered for his friendly smile and his kind spirit and was a part of our school family,” Henderson said. “It is never easy to lose a valuable life especially at a young age.”

In the letter, Henderson advised parents to monitor for signs of grief in their children, as tragedies can affect children in unexpected ways.

Sasse was the second Bonanza student to die in less than two weeks. On May 16, Marcos Arenas, 15, a Bonanza freshman, died when he was run over by a vehicle during a robbery. Arenas’ funeral was Friday.

Sasse’s family released a statement about their son’s death.

“Andrew was truly an amazing son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend with a contagious smile and zest for life,” the statement read. “He will be sorely missed by all who loved him.”

The family thanked the community for its support and asked for privacy during its time of grief. The date and time of a funeral service will be announced soon, the statement said.

The family is also creating a fund to assist with funeral arrangements, with any remaining money being put into a scholarship for a Bonanza High School student.

Sasse was set to graduate in two weeks and planned to attend UNLV next year, friend Andrew Gray said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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