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Firefighters honor teen killed in ATV wreck

Volunteer firefighter trained with Harmony FD

SAN ANTONIO - A volunteer firefighter killed in an ATV crash earlier this week was laid to rest Saturday.

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Dustin Welch, 18, was driving on a ranch about five miles south of Jourdanton when his ATV flipped over. Family friends said Welch had taken all the proper precautions and was wearing a helmet when the crash happened.

"Dustin knew very well what to do," Welch family friend Sharon Cox said. "It was just a horrific, tragic accident. It just happened."

Welch, who had been training with the Harmony Volunteer Fire Department since he was 16, never got a chance go on a ride on the fire truck. But Saturday, several volunteer fire departments gave him that chance and took one final ride with him.

"He had so many friends and he was well-liked by so many people that they would come and honor him in this way," Cox said.

"The whole family in general, we're in shock, in disbelief. It's like a dream," Welch's cousin, April Luna said.

Although devastated, Saturday's showing of support made Welch's parents proud knowing he touched so many lives.

"Overwhelming outpour of people, the support that everyone had just amazes me," Dustin's father, Kevin Welch said.

Dustin's parents said their son was an organ donor and his organs went to injured soldiers.

"He was my baby. He was very giving. He would do anything for anyone," Dustin's mother, Brenda Welch said.


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