ROCHESTER, Mich. -

The Oakland University community is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Eric Pauli, 19, had just started his first year at the university when his life was cut short by a snowmobiling accident at Higgins Lake on Sunday.

Deputy Mark Richardson of the Roscommon County Sheriff's Office said Pauli was with three other snowmobiles when he lost control over a snowbank and was thrown off, hitting the back of one of the other snowmobiles. Richardson said Pauli was wearing a helmet and was not speeding. Richardson called it a freak accident.

The band room at Oakland University was like a home away from home for Pauli.

"He loved being part of the Oakland University band, in fact, he just loved being a part of Oakland University," said Dr. Kenneth

Kroesche, the band director at OU.

Kroesche said that although he works with a lot of students, Eric stood out.

"He was always at every game, he had so much personality," Kroesche said. "This type of thing is such a tragedy, I mean his life hadn't truly

begun yet."  

Junior Luke Perzyk played the trombone with Pauli in the Golden Grizzly Band, and knew that freshman had talent.

 "Once I heard it was Eric from the trombone section, I was shocked, he was so good, we miss him a lot," said Perzyk.

Eric Paulie in OU band

The campus newspaper, The Oakland Post, wrote about Pauli's love for his yellow Pontiac G5 and how he was studying to be a

computer engineer, but mostly how much he'll be missed. During Thursday's basketball games, his band mates will wear a

golden ribbon in his honor and hold a moment of silence.

A funeral mass for Pauli is planned for 10 a.m. on Friday at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 18201 23 Mile Road in Macomb Twp. He will lie in state at the church starting at 9:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations being made to the Dakota High School Band Scholarship or Making Miracles Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 926, Hazel Park, MI, 48030.