Heading back to school in Chester Basin will be especially hard for some students this week after one of their classmates, a 14-year-old boy, died in an all-terrain vehicle crash Monday night.

The boy was driving the ATV along the Trans-Canada Trail during the waning hours of summer when he collided with a tree around 9:30 p.m.

Police say the teen, who was from the Chester area, was found a short distance away from the damaged ATV. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This type of crash involving a young person is extremely difficult to work through. You have to use all of your tools that you have to maintain a professional integrity, a professional composure,” said RCMP Cpl. Greg Chruch.

Friends of the victim say the teen often travelled the trails in Chester Basin on his dirt bike or ATV.

“At the time of the crash, he would have been returning home from a ride," said Chruch.

'I know that he was very vigilant about getting home on time.' - RCMP Cpl. Greg Chruch

"We know he was riding with a friend earlier in the evening ... and I know that he was very vigilant about getting home on time."

Police say the teen was wearing a helmet.

Barry Barnet, executive director of the All-terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia, says Monday’s crash is a stark reminder of the rules of the road.

In Nova Scotia, operating an ATV under the age of 16 is against the law. The only exception is when a driver between 14 and 16 is supervised by a parent or guardian.

"Obviously I was shocked and saddened,” said Barnet. “Regardless of age, we promote everyone drive as safe as possible and you know one of the things we have always said is we promote a safe, responsible use of ATVs.”

Police have ordered an autopsy and vehicle inspection to determine the cause of death.

The victim would have been going into Grade 9 at Forest Heights Community School.

Support staff will be on hand when students return to class on Thursday.