EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WKBW) — He had just graduated from East Aurora High School.
He had a lifelong passion for the outdoors.
He was planning to pursue his dream of becoming an arborist and outdoor adventure guide.
This was the life of 18-year-old Maytham Vukelic before it was cut tragically short last month. Vukelic was riding his bicycle with a friend on August 28 on Pleasantview Drive in Lancaster when both teens were hit from behind. Vukelic died at ECMC the next day. His friend suffered serious injuries.
The driver, Kevin Czajka of Lancaster, is charged with driving while intoxicated. More charges are pending. He will be arraigned Tuesday.
The Vukelic family released a statement Thursday, remembering Maytham and thanking the community for its love and support:
He was the adored son of Timothy Vukelic and Shelby Deck and big brother to Decca Vukelic. Maytham was the grandson of Saxon and James Deck and Carole and Gene Vukelic and along with amazing friends around the world, is survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Maytham graduated from Aurora Waldorf School, attended The Park School of Buffalo and graduated class of 2020 from East Aurora High School and the Conservation Management Program at Walter Ormsby Educational Center. He was taking a gap year before starting at Paul Smith’s College where he was to pursue his passion to become an arborist and outdoor adventure guide.
Maytham was shaped and defined by his love and constant passion for the outdoors. Every summer of his life was spent exploring, canoeing and fishing in Parry Sound, Ontario. Since he was 10, Maytham attended Northwaters/Langskib, a life-defining wilderness canoe program in Temagami, Ontario. A self-taught short film-maker and editor, he co-created and co-produced a YouTube channel, “Weekend 1 Warriors” where he enthusiastically shares his travels around the world, the joy of the perfect fishing spot, being with friends and the beauty of our amazing planet.
There were dozens of people who cared for Maytham on the last day of his life. The extraordinary care and efforts from neighbors who ran out to help, the ambulance team and the emergency and medical personnel at ECMC will never be forgotten. Special thank you also to Wes Bonczyk at Walter Howe Funeral Home where arrangements were made.
Lancaster Police Chief, William J. Karn, Jr. and the entire Lancaster Police Department receive our heartfelt gratitude for their unwavering determination, skill and exceptional professionalism as they continue to process through this investigation.
As our family moves forward, we find peace in Maytham’s passionate love of life. Thank you for honoring our privacy. There will be no further comments. Thank you.
The Vukelic and Deck Families