"He always wore a banana suit to all the football games and all the basketball games. He was always the one in the banana suit," Grand Ledge student Gabby Westman said of her friend Jonathan Tuthill. She laughed with friend Haven Allison remembering Tuthill in his strange costume. "He was just a goofball. He was goofy.
Friends, classmates, teammates on the baseball team, coaches and teachers, the Grand Ledge High School senior touched many people. "He was the kind of kid that made other kids laugh" his varsity baseball coach Pat O'Keefe said. "He was the kind of kid that was loved by the other kids for his just his joy of life, and that's the way we will remember him."
Tuthill was killed in a car crash when his pick-up rear-ended a semi on US -27 north of St. Johns. It happened the day after his 18th birthday.
"It was just a really sudden thing," Allison said.
"We had plans to go kayaking this weekend, a surprise trip for his birthday," Westman said.
"His birthday was yesterday."
We asked on Facebook for pictures of the fun-loving teenager and photos came flooding in with messages calling him a bright spirit, a fine young man, and someone who will be greatly missed.
"He was a remarkable kid, loved by his teammates, classmates, teachers. To have life shortened for those two boys, two young men, this early in their lives, is just a devastating thing to us all," O'Keefe said.
Grand Ledge Public Schools says it will have grief counselors at Grand Ledge High School beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"He was a kid that enjoyed life, and we'll just sorely miss him," O'Keefe said. "It's just a tragedy."