Lane Rowe, 11, was trying to keep the family’s driverless Dodge Caravan from rolling into busy Blue Barns Road on Monday afternoon when he fell under the car and was killed, family members said Tuesday.
“He was a doer. He was worried about his two little brothers and sister in the car,” said Lynn Bradley, the boy’s grandfather.
The van contained Rowe’s 12-year-old sister, Luca, and his two younger brothers, Lark, 4, and Felix, 2.
Bradley, a retired New York State trooper and Delaware County resident, said when the van started rolling down the driveway Monday afternoon, Lane was just coming out his front door at 190 Blue Barns Road in the town of Ballston.
His mother, Jennifer Abraham, was still in the house, Bradley said. They were all planning to drive to the doctor’s for Lane’s annual physical exam.
“She just went inside,” Bradley said about the boy’s mother.
Lane first tried to reach into the door of the van and turn the steering wheel but it wouldn’t turn, He then went behind the van in an attempt to stop it from going into the street, the grandfather said.
Bradley said a witness saw the whole thing. She said the van ended up in a ditch at the foot of the driveway.
“He kept it from going out there,” Bradley said.
The accident is still under investigation by state police. No charges have been filed.
Bradley said he felt bad for the emergency responders who came to the scene and found the dead boy. “Reach out and get counseling,” Bradley said.
Lane was a 6th grade student at O’Rourke Middle School in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District. The district’s crisis team, which includes administrators, psychologists, counselors, and teachers, was available Tuesday to provide students with a chance to talk and share their feelings, according to a school district statement.
“Lane had a warm smile and a sweet disposition. He was well liked by teachers and students,” middle school Principal Colleen Wolff said in a statement. “His presence will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to support his family.”
Bradley, who said Lane said spent much of the summer with him at his Margaretville home in the Catskills, was a “jokester.”
“He could be a devil one minute and as good as an angel the next,” Bradley said. “He was always willing to help you out, always the first one there.”
“He was extremely close to his sister [Luca],” he added.
Lane’s aunt, Pam West-Finkle, also a resident of Delaware County, said Lane loved music and was interested in playing instruments.
“He enjoyed performing. He had a good ear for music,” West-Finkle said. “Deep down I think he wanted to be a rock star.”
The family said Lane loved singing and dancing. He had just started middle school in September, “loved hanging out with his best friends and was well liked by all his teachers,” according to his obituary.
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Burnt Hills Methodist Church, 816 Route 50. There will be no calling hours.
Instead of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Lane Rowe Memorial Fund at any branch of the Ballston Spa National Bank or by mail to Ballston Spa National Bank, P.O. Box 70, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.
Lane was part of a large family. He is survived by his parents, Jennifer and Daniel Abraham of Burnt Hills and Robert Rowe and Carol Von Fricken of Schenectady; his brothers, Reid Rowe and EJ, Lake and Felix Abraham; and his sisters, Luca and Donya Rowe and Miah Abraham; his grandparents, Carolyn and Lynn Bradley of Margaretville, Louise Rowe of Troy and Lavinia and George Abraham; as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins.
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