He loved skateboarding but no one thought Duncan McRae would die doing just that.
The 13-year-old was tragically killed Tuesday while riding his longboard with a group of friends. He lost control on uneven payment and went flying, his neck striking a wire between two fence posts at the end of a hill, reports the Calgary Herald.
The death comes as a huge shock to the southwest community of Millrise, where the accident happened.
"It was just awful," a respiratory therapist named Susan, told Metro Calgary.
Susan was one of several people, including McRae's mother, who heard the screams from McRae's friends and tried to help save the boy.
Neighbour Iris Gosselin arrived to the scene to witness three of McRae's friends distressed over the accident.
"They were crying so hard," she told the Herald.
"They said he was just coming down the hill too fast and out of control."
Police transported McRae from the 100 block of Millrise Blvd. S.W. to Rockyview Hospital for emergency surgery for his neck, but he could not be saved, reports CTV Calgary.
Police say McRae was wearing a helmet and protective gear.
"Something like this is just so senseless. The little guy is doing everything he should be doing. He's wearing safety equipment, he's just having some fun, and something like this happens. It's just tragic," Duty Inspector Paul Stacey told 660 News.
Just days before he was to return to school as a grade 8 student, McRae's family, friends and classmates are left to make sense of the death.
"They're all just finding out now. My daughter was back-to-school shopping when she found out," Michelle Russell told the Herald.
"He loved having the wind in his hair," riding mate Josh Hughes told Metro. "Riding through this alley is just not going to be the same anymore."
At least one neighbour thought the popular skateboarding area was an "accident waiting to happen."
Neighbour Laverne Schaffer told Metro, "They come down here so fast. During the summer they do it regularly, almost daily."
Correction: An earlier headline on this article incorrectly stated that Duncan's name was Dustin. We regret the error.