JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - Roughly a thousand family and friends gathered at a memorial on the football field of Michigan Center High School in Jackson County. It honors the three young men who died at the Faster Horses Festival, all of whom were known and loved in this community.
Dawson Brown, Richie Mays Jr, and Kole Sova were all killed by carbon monoxide inside a trailer at the Faster Horses country music festival.
"It's just a freak accident. for all those decisions to line up to get to this tragedy it just boggles your mind - of the thousands of generators and campers. they were the ones that it hit," said Jerry Sova, Kole's father.
Two more 20-year-olds, Rayfield Johnson and Kurtis Stitt, were also in the trailer now in the hospital in critical condition.
The parents of Kole Sova, said these were good kids who did everything right. the generator powering the trailer was parked outside.
Some parents like, Kole's mom, even attended the festival with them.
"The group was right next to us at the concert, we were within shouting distance," said Meeka Sova, Kole's mom.
Kole wasn't even a country music fan, but he wanted to hang out with his close friends.
"We were so surprised that he was going," his dad said. "Just the amount of people there, it can be overwhelming."
On Friday night, after the show, Kole's dad even asked if he wanted a ride home. Kole said no.
"Another parent went down there at about 4 a.m. to pick up some other people, he was offered a ride and he almost went," said Jerry Sova. "But said, 'I'm going to stay with my buddies.'"
The tragic discovery was made around mid-day Saturday.
"It's not just our family. there are two others that are mourning too. but part of it is, they are together," said Meeka.
The grieving families are taking comfort in that the three young men didn't suffer.
"I wish I had hugged Kole more," Jerry said. "He knows we loved him and we showed him with actions."
They said they have plans to return to Faster Horses at Michigan International Speedway and make a difference in their honor.
"I'm hoping next year we can go down there and maybe hand out some carbon monoxide detector," his dad said.
A joint visitation is planned for Wednesday at Michigan Center High School for all three victims with individual funeral services for the three happening on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Dawson Brown, Richie Mays, Kole Sova (Photo: Michigan Center School District)
Festival organizers took to social media said they were deeply saddened to learn of the tragedy and that they are working with local law enforcement and that their hearts breaks for all involved.