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Country star Luke Combs pays for funerals of 3 friends who died near Michigan music festival

Country singer Luke Combs is paying the funeral expenses of three young men who saw him perform at a Michigan music festival before they died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at a nearby campground, relatives said.

"For him to reach out and do that, I don't even have the words. I wish I could just give him a hug," said Meeka Sova, the mother of Kole Sova.

Sova, 19, William "Richie" Mays Jr., 20, and Dawson Brown, 20, were found dead in a travel trailer on July 17. Police said the friends were exposed to emissions from a portable generator that was too close to their camper.

Two other men, Rayfield Johnson and Kurtis Stitt, both 20, were in critical condition when they were hospitalized. A Facebook group posting updates on Stitt said he was "able to follow commands and answer questions via thumbs up and thumbs down, move his limbs, and smile" earlier this week.

Mays' mother, Amy Satterthwaite, recalled how she held her son's hand the previous night during Combs' appearance at the Faster Horses Festival, a weekend show at Michigan International Speedway.

"That was the last time we were with our boys," Satterthwaite said.

2021 Faster Horses Festival
Luke Combs performs during Faster Horses Festival at Michigan International Speedway on July 16, 2021 in Brooklyn, Michigan. ERIKA GOLDRING / Getty Images

Combs had no comment about the donation, spokeswoman Asha Goodman told CBS affiliate WLNS-TV.

In high school, Sova, Mays and Brown were all were chosen as captains of the football team by their classmates, WLNS-TV reported. Hundreds came to a candlelight vigil Monday night at Michigan Center High School to remember the three graduates.

"The older boys mentored the younger boys and it's like a big family and parents knew each other," Rae Fruth told the station. "This is just such a far-reaching tragedy I don't think there's anybody at Michigan Center that wasn't touched by one of these boys or isn't connected to some of their family in some way."

GoFundMe site set up by the Michigan Center Athletic Boosters has raised more than $63,000 for the families as of Friday afternoon.

"Our hearts are broken for the families, friends and loved ones," festival organizers said on Facebook.

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