PINE RIVER -- He was attempting to stop his friend from driving drunk.
And in a tragic twist, Kenny Heller, 18, Pine River, was accidentally run over and killed by the friend he was trying to help.
Heller, the son of Eugene and Jane Heller of Pine River, graduated in May from Pequot Lakes High School.
Ryan Morris, 20, is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail. He appeared in court today on charges of criminal vehicular homicide and felony hit and run, according to Crow Wing County Sheriff Dick Ross.
The accident happened at 1:22 a.m. Friday at Piney Ridge Resort in rural Pine River.
At the time of the accident, Heller was standing outside of Morris' truck attempting to get him to get out of his vehicle. The two reportedly argued over whether Morris was fit enough to drive. Then Morris accidentally ran over Heller.
Morris left the scene of the accident and was later found at his parents' home. Crow Wing County deputies arrested Morris after they detected alcohol on his breath. Blood alcohol tests were taken and the county is waiting for those results.
"Kenny was a quiet student," said John McDonald, principal at Pequot Lakes High School. "He was a nice student to have around. It's always a tragedy when you lose a student."
Morris is a 1998 Pequot Lakes High School graduate, said McDonald.
Heller, said McDonald, was looking at entering the construction field.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department was assisted by the Pine River and Pequot Lakes police departments in the investigation.
Heller is the second member of the Class of 2000 at Pequot Lakes High School to die tragically this year. Annie Lynde, 18, Nisswa, died Dec. 2, 1999, when her car struck a Pequot Lakes school bus.
Funeral services for Heller are scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday at Kline Funeral Home in Pine River. Burial will be in the Jenkins cemetery. Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. tonight at the funeral home.
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