June 14, 2014 9:12 pm

‘Always wear a helmet': Message at funeral for 11-year-old killed in longboarding accident

WATCH ABOVE: The family of Dustin Mackenzie is hoping other families will learn from their son’s sudden death. Darlene Heidemann reports.

VANCOUVER – There were tears, hugs and a large crowd of people gathered in Abbotsford on Saturday for the outdoor funeral of 11-year-old Dustin Mackenzie.

He died two weeks ago while longboarding.

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He fell and hit his head on the pavement and although he normally wore a helmet, he was not wearing a helmet this time.

“He gave a lot to everyone,” said Dustin’s friend Brady Bruzzese. “He was just like a peace-giver. He gave peace to everyone.”

Dustin was a Grade 5 student at Dormick Park Elementary.

“He would always stand up for those who needed it, whether adult or child,” said Dustin’s aunt Tabetha MacKenzie. “And he was always there to provide comfort in times of sorrow.”

Stickers have been created in Dustin’s honour and according to Tabetha, helmet sales in Abbotsford have been up since his death.

His family is working with longboarders and Replay Board Shop to help fund gear for those who can’t afford it and to provide safety workshops and classes.

“If your child’s not wearing their helmet, take their stuff away,” said Tabetha. “Make sure they listen because it’s life or death.”

The hope is that Dustin’s death will help save lives. He has already saved six kids when he donated his organs.

- With files from Darlene Heidemann.

GALLERY: Many people showed up to the funeral on Saturday (credit: Darlene Heidemann):

© Shaw Media, 2014

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