Balloons released in honor of Hemlock student killed in crash

Emotions were flowing Wednesday night for a grief-stricken mother at a balloon release to honor her son.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:32 PM EDT
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THOMAS TWP., Mich. (WNEM) - Emotions were flowing Wednesday night for a grief-stricken mother at a balloon release to honor her son.

The Saginaw County teenager was killed in a single-car crash over the weekend.

Related: One teen killed, 3 others seriously injured in weekend crash

Balloons were in flight over the Thomas Township basketball court Wednesday night, a place where Dax Burk spent much of his time.

“We would hang out and play basketball for hours on into dark,” said one of Burk’s friends.

The event was held to remember the 18-year-old student who was killed in a single-car crash in Bay County early Saturday morning, May 20.

“I bet you now, he’s probably playing with Kobe Bryant right now. I can tell you that,” said Dustin Wagner, another friend of Burk.

Gold balloons that said “Class of 2023″ were released with the others, representing the bright future the Hemlock High School senior had ahead of him. He was only days away from graduation.

Related: Hemlock superintendent speaks on student’s death

State police said he was a passenger and one of four people in a truck that veered off 7 Mile Road near Freeland Road and crashed into a water-filled ditch and driveway embankment.

“Dax had so many wonderful friends. He was loved more than I ever even knew. I mean, I knew I loved him dearly, but I never knew how much everybody else until now,” Dax’s mother Darcy Burk said. “I have never been more touched or more honored by people in my entire life.”

Burk’s friends, who quickly organized Wednesday’s balloon release, were amazed by the support.

“It just shows how many people really care about him and how many people’s hearts he touched,” said Burk’s friend Freddie Alvarado.

Cam Daig, another friend, said Burk could make someone a better person.

“I know he made me a better person for a fact,” Daig said.

There will be more difficult days ahead. Thursday, Burk would have been walking across the stage with his fellow classmates. Now, they will hold his memory close.

The three other people in the truck with Burk were hospitalized.

TV5 has reached out to Michigan State Police for an update on how they are doing.

Meanwhile, the crash is under investigation.

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