State

Two teens – a wrestling champion and a UK student – die in ATV crash

Union County’s Bryce Sheffer, right, wrestled St. Xavier’s Konner Kraeszig in the 138 pound class finals at the KHSAA State Wrestling Championship at Alltech Arena in February 2017. Sheffer died in an ATV crash Friday.
Union County’s Bryce Sheffer, right, wrestled St. Xavier’s Konner Kraeszig in the 138 pound class finals at the KHSAA State Wrestling Championship at Alltech Arena in February 2017. Sheffer died in an ATV crash Friday.

Two teens, one of whom was a state champion wrestler and the other a student at the University of Kentucky, died in an ATV crash in Western Kentucky early Friday.

Union County Coroner Stephen Shouse said Bryce Sheffer, 19, and Luke Whitsell, 18, were riding the ATV with another man when they lost control and hit a tree off Ed Ricketts Road outside Morganfield at about 2:30 a.m.

Sheffer and Whitsell both died. The other man was not seriously injured.

Whitsell was a student at UK, where he was a business management major and was involved with Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, according to an obituary.

Sheffer was part of the wrestling team at Southern Illinois University and was a four-time state high school wrestling champion in his weight class. He was among those nominated for the Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year award last month.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have Bryce as part of our program,” Southern Illinois’ wrestling head coach Jeremy Spates said in a news release. “We are deeply saddened by his loss and would like to express our heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends. He always will be a part of our team.”

He and Whitsell were both graduates of Union County High School and were home on spring break when the accident occurred, Shouse said.

Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield is in charge of arrangements for both.

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