Goshen boy dies from injuries in dirt bike crash

Malachi Southern

GOSHEN — A Goshen Middle School student has died of injuries sustained in a dirt bike crash early last week.

Malachi Southern, 12, of Goshen, collided with an SUV after he reportedly drove past a stop sign and crossed into the intersection of William and Colonial Manor drives around 8:20 p.m. June 10, according to a report by Goshen police.

Southern was tossed from his bike, apparently landed on the SUV’s windshield and then fell onto the side of Colonial Manor Drive, according to police.

A man who witnessed the crash from a nearby house ran to the scene and started providing aid to Southern before emergency responders arrived, according to the report. Police said Southern was wearing a helmet at the time, but the chin strap apparently wasn’t fastened since the helmet came off during the crash.

Southern was flown to Memorial Hospital in South Bend to receive treatment for his injuries.

According to his obituary, Southern died of his injuries at 3:02 p.m. Monday at the hospital. He reportedly donated his organs, saving the lives of three adults, and became the first child ever to have the honor walk at the South Bend hospital.

Malachi was to be a seventh-grader at Goshen Middle School. School officials posted the following on the GMS Facebook page Tuesday afternoon:

“Goshen Middle School is grieving the loss of one of our students. Malachi Southern, who completed 6th grade in May, passed away yesterday as a result of injuries from a dirt bike accident last week.

"Malachi was a bright, funny boy who was well-liked by his classmates. Through organ donation, Malachi has already helped save the lives of 3 adults.

"Students or families who need support in processing this loss can contact Goshen Middle School, where counselors will be available tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday. Starting next Monday, Ryan’s Place, a grief support center for children in Goshen, will be open to provide support. Ryan’s place can be contacted at 574-535-1000. GMS can also connect families with additional community resources as needed.

"GMS Staff offer their deepest sympathy to Malachi’s family.”

Southern is survived by his mother, Melissa (Esch) Southern, Goshen; father, Joshua Southern, Goshen; grandparents, Renee Esch, Goshen, Thomas Esch, Elkhart, and Tatiana Schue, Goshen; and great-grandparents, Judy Minnich, Goshen, and Rosika Mahony, Goshen.

A time of visitation for Southern will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 24, and one hour prior to his 11 a.m. funeral service on Tuesday, June 25, all at Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret Funeral Home, 311 S. Main St., Goshen.

Burial will follow at Elkhart Prairie Cemetery.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN

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