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Remembering Joey: Family of the 17-year-old ambulance crash victim shares his lasting legacy

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GRAND RAPIDS, MN-- The family of the 17-year-old boy who died Tuesday in an ambulance crash is being remembered.

Joseph 'Joey' Latimer was riding in an ambulance on his way to a Grand Rapids hospital Tuesday morning after a seizure.

At the intersection of County Roads 336 and 57 in Lawrence Township, a dump truck t-boned the ambulance, killing Joey and 51-year-old Troy Boettcher, a paramedic in the ambulance.

RELATED: Grand Rapids community mourns another crash at deadly intersection

When you ask William Latimer how he remembers his son, unmatched kindness comes to mind.

"He had a huge smile and giggle that just lit up the room," said Latimer. "He was just somebody that when people met, they never forgot he always seemed to find a special place in everybody's heart."

The Grand Rapids High School student had a life of health complications, ranging from autism to cerebral palsy.

Those who knew him best say he never let the challenges get him down.

"He battled a lot of that stuff, but he was always very happy. It didn't seem to bother him," said Latimer. "He was very much a fighter. He never gave up on anything, ever."

After a week of tragedy, Joey's family hopes their son's story can inspire others to live life with a little more happiness, just like Joey.

Now, with an outpouring of community support, William says Joey's impact will be felt for years to come.

"It's nice to know that so many people care about my son," said Latimer.

You can find Joey's funeral arrangements here.

If you would like to help the Latimer family, you can find a link to their goFundme here.

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Natalie Grant

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