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Whitefield teen killed in ATV accident

WHITEFIELD (WGME) -- A Whitefield family is heartbroken, and the community in shock, after a teen was killed in an ATV crash on Monday night.

It was an unbearable day for the family of Ryan Mullens, and their first without him. But through their tears, his parents wanted to tell CBS 13 that he was one of a kind.

"He had a big heart with a tough exterior," said his dad, Wayne Mullens.

"He was so protective," said his mom, Stacey Savage. "He wore emotions on his sleeve."

Ryan had just finished his sophomore year at Wiscasset High School.

His parents said he loved being outside, especially four-wheeling. It's what he was doing when he died, just down the road from home.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said Ryan was riding an ATV.

Chief Deputy Ken Mason said the teen passed a car on the left, but when he tried to come back into the right lane, the car hit him. Ryan's ATV rolled, and he was thrown off. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

Mason said Ryan suffered head and chest trauma.

Ryan's family said his 16-year-old friend was the driver of the car involved in the crash, and the two were on their way home after fishing together.

Authorities say they may never know what Ryan's intentions were.

"I mean, being on the road to begin with is illegal," said Mason. "ATVs do not react on asphalt as they do on terra firma."

His family said he was fearless and lived by the phrase, YOLO: you only live once.

Still, they never thought anything like this would happen to him.

"If anybody hears this, hug your kids. Appreciate what you got," said Wayne Mullens. "You never think this is going to happen."

The family is just starting to make funeral arrangements and hope to find a special way to honor Ryan's memory.

The crash remains under investigation.