Chloe Des Rochers was 17 when pandemic restrictions disrupted lives.
She didn’t get a high school prom. She found it hard to stay connected with friends. She couldn’t even get her driver’s licence because of long wait times.
“She was very lonely,” her mother Tara Hartshorne told The Progress. “Chloe was having a hard time with her mental health since the pandemic.”
But at 19, this year, she was starting to do better. Chloe was working in long-term care as a student care aide, and was hoping to be a nurse like her mother.
“Every evening she would go out walking or riding her bike or skateboard to help clear her head,” Tara said. “She was starting to seem like the old Chloe. She was smiling more and things were getting better but she was still very lonely.”
It was on one of those evening skateboard rides on Aug. 1 that she was struck and killed by a pickup truck driver at the intersection of Ford Road and Nevin Road.
An intersection neighbours say is notorious for speeding, stop-sign running, and close calls.
On Sunday (Aug. 7) in the evening, Tara and dozens of others held a candlelight vigil at the intersection where Chloe was struck and killed.
The incident happened shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1 where there was a collision involving a pickup truck and the young woman on a skateboard. She was seriously injured and transported to hospital where she died a few hours later.
The driver of the pickup truck remained on scene and is co-operating with RCMP. The investigation remains ongoing and police are determining whether or not alcohol was a contributing factor. No charges had been laid as of Aug. 8.
Folks on social media who live or work in the area stated they often see vehicles going 80 to 100 kilometres per hour along the country roads, some ignoring stop signs.
A woman who lives near the intersection and who contacted The Progress stated she and other neighbours are all demanding that a four-way stop be installed at Nevin and Ford roads. Currently, it’s a two-way stop for traffic on Nevin Road.
A memorial of a few bouquets of flowers grew to a much larger one in a few days, including a wooden cross constructed by a local business.
A GoFundMe was set up for Chloe’s family by someone connected to The Cascades, the long-term care home where she was volunteering.
“During the troublesome times of COVID, Chloe brought a shining light to many seniors who only saw darkness as they were isolated from their families,” according to the GoFundMe titled Begin the healing journey for Chloe’s Family. “Chloe would play games, paint nails, and spend quality time loving on everybody’s grandma.
“We at the Cascades would like to honour Chloe by helping the family through this tremendously difficult time by providing financial relief so they may focus their energy on beginning the long journey to a healing place.”
A celebration of life is scheduled for Chloe on Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. at Chilliwack Alliance Church. Her family requested that attendees wear bright colours “to bring life to the celebration of life on behalf of Chloe.”
As for the intersection, Chloe’s mother and other neighbours want something done. Even during the candlelight vigil, Tara said the intersection was busy with “many large trucks barrelling through.”
“The one neighbour has lived there since 1976 and he said many people have been killed and there have been many accidents,” she said. “People often drive 80-100 km/hour. There is only one very poorly lit street light. It’s so dangerous.”
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