Miramichi community grieves four teens who died in crash
There is lingering shock and sadness in the Miramichi area as the city comes to grips with a terrible accident over the long weekend.
A single-vehicle crash on Saturday left four teenagers dead and their families and classmates dealing with grief and unanswered questions.
Several items were left behind from a vigil on Sunday night that was held to remember the four lives lost.
“I was heartbroken for the families,” said Ann Marie Legresley, who organized the vigil.
Police said the victims were 17-year-old Cassie Lloyd of Escuminac, 18-year-old Emma Connick of Barnaby, 17-year-old Logan Matchett and 16-year-old Avery Astle, both from Strathadam.
They were killed when their car left the road and landed upside down in deep water.
“CPR was continued until almost 4 o'clock in the morning,” said Miramichi Deputy Chief Brian Cummings. “It looked like there were some gains being made, but they were just in the water for too long.”
Police say alcohol and drugs are being ruled out of the investigation. Treacherous road conditions and speed are believed to have contributed to the crash.
The magnitude of the crash is still being absorbed by the community.
“Two is devastating,” said Cummings. “Four is enough to bring the community to its knees.”
Legresley said she organized Sunday’s candle-light vigil at the scene of the accident by creating an event on Facebook.
She said its purpose was to “get the kids together before they had to face each other at school after such a tragedy.”
More than 300 people showed up.
Monday, Meredith Caissie, a spokesperson for the Anglophone North School District, shared memories of the students, written by their respective principals.
“Cassie excelled academically and had fielded multiple university scholarship offers.”
“Emma was committed to making a difference for children in Uganda.”
“Always smiling, Logan was extremely outgoing and friendly. He was quick to start a conversation and willing to help whenever asked.”
“Avery was a fantastic kid who was so kind to his peers and teachers.”
Although there were no classes at North and South Esk Regional High School or James M. Hill Memorial High School on Monday, grief counselling was made available for students and staff.
The students plan to show their support Tuesday as well.
“Schools around here are showing their support by wearing the different school colours tomorrow, that's how the kids are coming together,” said university student Hannah Hosford.
The support is also being felt widely across the province.
“It's such a tragedy and shock to the system,” said New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.“A shock to the community. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and the community.”
The grief counsellors will be back at the schools Tuesday. The school district says it will keep them around for as long as the students need them.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.