The teen died days after he was discovered unconscious by first responders, authorities say
A 16-year-old boy died over the weekend after being injured at a Wisconsin sawmill.
The teen, identified as Michael Schuls by the Associated Press, was found unresponsive by first responders at the Florence Hardwoods logging company on June 29, Florence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Teresa Chrisman said in a news release Sunday.
Schuls was taken to Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson and then to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital, where he died on Saturday.
Officials claim the teen died after an “industrial accident,” but Chrisman told the AP that his cause of death and the specifics of his death would not be made public due to an ongoing investigation.
The company’s office manager, Jordan Davis, declined to comment Thursday to the AP about the teen’s death. Florence Hardwoods did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
A GoFundMe page launched by the boy’s family said the teen was “working at Florence Hardwoods when horrible tragedy struck.”
In an update on Sunday, a family member wrote that “yesterday Michael began his eternal life in Heaven. We know he is surrounded by loved ones we have already lost and is no longer suffering.”
“To try to even begin to process or understand such a devastating loss for my brother, Steph and the kids is one of the heaviest burdens I or anyone close can ever carry,” the message continued. “Please don’t stop praying for them.”
As of Thursday, the GoFundMe has raised over $20,000.
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating and has referred a possible child labor violation involving hazardous occupations to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Scott Allen, the Labor Department’s regional director for public affairs, told Wisconsin Public Radio.
The teen’s death comes as 14 states, including Wisconsin, seek to introduce bills to roll back child labor laws, per The Independent and WPR.
Officials said that counseling was available at Florence High School on Monday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, students and co-workers,” said Florence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chrisman.