ISP release preliminary autopsy results of boy killed in fireworks incident

Camrynn McMichael, 11, died from a head injury due to a firework mortar, a preliminary autopsy indicates. His death has been ruled accidental. (Source: WFIE)
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:17 AM CDT
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POSEY CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Indiana State Police say a preliminary autopsy indicates 11-year-old Camrynn Ray McMichael died from a head injury due to a firework mortar.

His death has been ruled accidental.

Troopers say this is an on-going investigation.

[Mom names 11-year-old boy killed in Mt. Vernon fireworks incident]

The incident happened around 9:45 Sunday night in the 900 block of Canal Street in Mt. Vernon.

Officials say West Elementary School will be open Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Counselors will be available to talk with students.

A representative from the American Legion Post 5 in Mt. Vernon says they are accepting donations for an auction to help with funeral expenses. They’ve also set up an account at United Fidelity.

We spoke two of McMichael’s former teachers, as well as a football coach with Mount Vernon Junior High Football.

All three of them raved about McMichael’s personality, his wit, and how good of a kid he was.

One of his former teachers, Kamie Richardson, says his personality was one-of-a-kind.

“Just, just his pure wanting everyone to just be happy,” says Richardson, “it was amazing.”

She says McMichael was incredibly smart, and always spent time helping out other kids where he could.

“He was one of those kids where you got to start working with him and you were like, ‘oh, I want to do better because this kid is pushing me to be better.’”

Mount Vernon Junior High Football Coach James F Goodrich II says he was a phenomenal athlete and an even better kid.

“I mean it’s just, it’s just hard. I’m going to miss his smile, his energy, his just, you know, he was just part of us,” says Goodrich II.

He says McMichael was on the smaller side, but was a natural-born leader, and he knew how to work.

“He knew that he was going to make his way by working hard and doing stuff, and that gets other kids’ respect,” says Goodrich II, “we were doing 7 on 7 stuff, and it’s hard for sixth graders to do that, every 15-yards and stuff, he was always ready to go.”

Jacquelyn Cobb, his former 4th grade teacher at West Elementary says his big heart is what made him such a pleasure to have in class.

She says her daughter is just as broken up as she is, and many other students who were in McMichael’s class are feeling the same way.

“My daughter, she was in a kindergarten at the time. She likes to draw pictures on the board, and she would always have the kids vote ‘yes or no’, if they liked her picture,” says Cobb, “she did it every morning, and Cam was always the first one up there to put a big check mark on the yes, and he was the first one to tell all the kids in the classroom, ‘if you guys put no on this, you’re in trouble cause you’re gonna hurt her feelings.’”

She says she was looking forward to watching Cam grow up, a luxury that is no longer available to her or his family.

“Even though he hadn’t been in my class this last year, he would still stop by my room almost every day,” says Cobb, “stick his head in, ‘hey Ms. Cobb whatcha doin’?’ and so him moving on to Junior High, I knew not to expect that, but I still expected, at all of the sporting events and stuff, Cam would definitely be the kid who would be the first person to run up to me and my children and say hi, to go out of his way and do it.”

“Just knowing that’s not going to happen is heartbreaking,” says Cobb.

Cobb says there will be a candlelight vigil Thursday night at 8 P.M. at the Mt. Vernon Riverfront, put on by West Elementary.

She says it will be open to the public.

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