Friends sang ‘Happy Birthday’ on Thursday evening to Crystal Weaver who was killed in a head-on collision Sunday, four days before she would have turned 19.
Hundreds gathered at the corner of Dewdney Trunk Road and Dunbar Street in downtown Maple Ridge at a candlelight vigil for Weaver and Dawson Spencer.
Spencer was driving the a van that police say crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into a Honda Civic, in which Weaver was a passenger.
The two boys who were passengers in Spencer’s van, and his classmates at Samuel Robertson Technical School, remain in hospital. One has a punctured diaphragm, the other a broken pelvis.
The driver of the Honda also remains in hospital with compound fractures to both her femurs, while a second passenger in the car has since been released. All three girls were friends who graduated from Garibaldi secondary last year.
Investigators say the van was likely speeding, and alcohol is being considered a possible factor in the crash, but it could be months before toxicology reports will be able to confirm it.
“We don’t want to lose any more friends,” said Jake Cantin at the vigil.
Cantin and his friends Connor Schuchard and Andy McComb have started FADD – Friends Against Drunk Driving to make teens think twice about drinking and getting behind the wheel.
Police have not yet confirmed if Spencer had consumed alcohol prior to the crash. However, neither he nor the driver of the Honda should not have been on the road Sunday.
RCMP say Spencer had an “L” licence, while Jessica Smalls, who was driving the Honda, had an “N”.
Anne Sagorski lived nearby and heard the crash. She showed up to show respect for the families. “It’s hard for the young people to lose their friends that way.”
Katie-Wray Pearson, Brittany Francis, Amie Lasser and Jas Keating, all Garibaldi secondary students, were gathered around on the perimeter of the crowd which numbered a few hundred. “It just shows how many people care about them,” said Keating.
It’s been a difficult week at school, she added. “It’s been really sad.”
– with files from Phil Melnychuk