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Death of 16-year-old male under investigation in Lake of the Pines

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 16-year-old Justin Butler, who was found unconscious at a Lake of the Pines residence on Sunday. The youth - a Bear River High School junior - died in a Sacramento hospital after being first flown by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and then UC Davis Medical Center. Lt. Joe Salivar said today that emergency personnel responded to a Torrey Pines Drive home in the gated Lake of the Pines residential community. Medical personnel attempted to revive the victim with CPR before he was transported by air ambulance to Roseville, he said. Cal Fire Engineer Chris Harrison said the initial call came in at 6:15 p.m. and the youth was flown out at about 6:45 p.m. in the Calstar 3 helicopter. The teen was reported to have died in the hospital early this morning. Teachers let students know of Butler's death this morning. He was a wide receiver on the Bruins football team and had caught a touchdown pass Friday against Woodcreek High School. Nick Sauers, 16, a Bear River junior, said word of Butler's death hit many students hard. The school offered counseling sessions and a cross-section of students - some who knew Butler well and some who didn't - took part, he said. "Even people who didn't know him were affected by it," Sauers said. "He always looked on the bright side and was non-judgemental with others." Bryon Williams, another junior, said he'd known Butler since freshman year. "He was friends with everyone," Williams said. "And easy to get along with." Harrison said Butler was found in an upstairs breezeway that contained a Bowflex exercise machine. Parents also administered CPR, he said. Investigators were still determining circumstances surrounding Butler's death, with the Sheriff’s Office and county coroner talking to family members and students, Salivar said. The time of his death was not immediately available. The Journal will provide more information as it becomes available.