12-Year-Old Dies After Crashing Truck

Nicole Ebat

EXIRA, IOWA(KPTM)--A 12-year-old boy was killed Thursday afternoon when the truck he was driving rolled over, according to the Audubon Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say Austin Vais crashed a Ford F-150 about 7 miles outside of Exira, Iowa. They say he was driving down a rural country road when he lost control. The back tired slipped into a ditch and that caused the truck to slide sideways and roll over.

The sheriff's office said he wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the truck. He was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

It's not clear why he was driving, people in town say they think he was checking his traps along the creek. They added that his parents probably didn't know.

"He had a smile that would light up the room, there's just not enough words to describe what he was like," said Tracy Mulford, a friend of the family.

She describes him as a lovable kid, fond of hunting and setting his traps and always equipped with a funny story.

The people nursing their coffee inside the town cafe didn't know Austin well, but Mulford said that wouldn't have stopped Austin from jumping in.

"There could be 10 guys in their 50's sitting there and Austin could carry on a conversation with them. He would drink coffee with them," she said.

Austin was a wrestler at the Adair Junior Senior High School . He had two sisters and his step mother was expecting another child.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.