March 13, 2017 11:10 am
Updated: March 13, 2017 10:10 pm

Ingersoll man killed by skid steer remembered by friends as “joyous”

Riley Shannon as seen in a Facebook photo posted October 2016.

Riley Shannon as seen in a Facebook photo posted October 2016.

via Facebook

No matter how bad a mood you were in, Riley Shannon could “turn it around,” one of his best friends said.

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“He was just kind of a goofy, quirky guy. It didn’t matter if anybody was watching or whatever, he didn’t care. He would just make stupid faces and stupid noises and do impersonations of anyone and anything,” said Reece Maddocks, a long-time friend of Shannon’s. “We’re all just kind of reflecting on just how happy he always was. Generally he was just a joyous person–just full of energy, ready to go always.”

Maddocks was with Shannon in the early hours of Sunday morning, when police say he was run over by a John Deere model 333E skid steer, used for construction.

Shannon, an Ingersoll native, was rushed to hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead upon arrival, OPP Const. Adam Crewdson said.

Maddocks told AM980 that a small group of friends were hanging out, during which “there were some people out on (a) skid steer operating it when they shouldn’t have been.”

“Riley was trying to help out a friend and stop it–he was trying to get the kids out of it because they shouldn’t have been doing what they were doing. And he ended up in a bad situation with a piece of machinery,” he said.

According to Maddocks, who met Shannon in high school in Ingersoll, Shannon was looking to go back to school to become a paramedic–an unsurprising aspiration to those who knew his good nature.

“He was just an all-around great guy,” Maddocks said. “He was one of those happy people that just never had a dull moment. If you were with him, it didn’t matter what you did or what you were doing, you always had a great time doing it. One of those people that could really turn a night around if you were having a bad day, you could always go to him and count on him to put a smile on your face.”

Ontario Provincial Police say three men are facing charges in connection with the death. They are still investigating the death and circumstances surrounding it.

RELATED: Young man dies after collision with construction equipment

“That sort of rolled into the OPP investigation of getting the technical traffic collision investigators at the scene as well as our OPP forensic identification unit to assist with furthering this investigation,” Crewdson said.

Late Monday morning police confirmed that 18-year-old Ryan Esler, 18-year-old Adam Sinden, and 19-year-old Trent Weller, all of Thames Centre, have been charged with theft over $5,000, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence causing death, and fail to stop at scene of accident involving bodily harm or death.

When asked if the death was the result of an attempted robbery, Crewdson would only say that there was a gathering at a house and no indication of “these individuals going around and trying to steal anything.”

“Because of their actions, that’s what the charge is being laid,” he explained. “I’m certainly not going to go any further into it.”

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

The three accused were held for a bail hearing on Monday in London.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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