Family speaks about Michael Lillis' sudden passing

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Local skiers continue to mourn the loss of Michael Lillis.

It is still not clear what caused his death, but we do know he died in his sleep.

The 17-year-old was an Olympic hopeful and a freestyle aerialist from East Rochester.

Mikey and his two older brothers had a bond closer than most, and it centered on skiing.

"It was just kind of a paralyzing feeling for sure I know that Chris and I just kind of dropped to the floor we couldn't wrap our heads around it,” said Jon when he heard of his little brother's passing.

Their Coach John Kroetz says it doesn't make any sense.

"He was in the best physical condition possible, he was not ill, he had not been injured in anyway or any trauma, elite level athletes are drug tested all the time so it can’t be any of those shenanigans going on,” said Kroetz.

Kroetz knew Mikey since he started skiing at the age of two. He wanted to follow in his brothers' footsteps. He says they we're his role models.

"I was looking over the last text messages and there was a lot of him saying how proud he was of me and Chris and how much he missed us and he wanted to be with us,” said Jon.

Chris says he will miss their conversations.

“I got to say he was probably the funniest kid I knew and pretty much every word that came out of his mouth I was laughing,” said Chris.

They say it was all of their dreams to make the Olympics and now Mikey is their motivation.

"Mikey will be with us the whole way,” said Chris.

Mikey was living in Lake Placid while he trained. He happened to come home just that week.

Jon says he was glad that Mikey was home with his family when he passed.

We reached out the medical examiner they say at this time there is no further information as to the cause of Michaels death. 

A memorial date has not yet been determined.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Adam Interviews
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Extraordinary People
  • Plugged-In Parent
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Ask The Experts
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Games and Puzzles

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center