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One Of Maine's Top Nordic Skiers Dies In Farming Accident

Residents of the town of Turner are in mourning after a local teenager died following an accident at his family's farm. Roy Varney was killed after a piece of farm equipment that he was operating fell into a liquid manure pit at the Nezinscot Farm Tuesday.

A recent graduate of Leavitt High School, Varney was an accomplished Nordic skier who won two state titles in the sport. In an email, his coach Dustin Williamson, called the loss "monumental" and says Varney was a "phenomenal student athlete" with a strong passion for the sport.

"He made everyone around him better. He made the Leavitt Nordic ski team better," Williamson said in an email. "When he came to my classroom to talk about the sport and the upcoming competitions, the utter glee and downright joy that beamed off of him during our conversations was priceless."

John Nutting is a local farmer and family friend who says that Varney was intense when it came to skiing, but he was always supportive and positive while competing with his classmates and fellow skiers.

"There's no negative cheering the way you do see in some other high school sports,” Nutting says. “So everyone knew Roy. He was good, but he would help other skiers."

According to Varney's coach at Leavitt Area High School, the teenager planned to continue Nordic ski racing in college and hoped to qualify for the New England junior national team. A statement on the farm's Facebook page says, "Roy lived his life to the fullest both at the farm, in skiing, and in school."