3 Kelowna teens killed in devastating crash just ahead of graduation
VANCOUVER -- A devastating crash in Kelowna has killed three teenagers just days before they were set to graduate from high school.
Police were called to Gordon Drive north of Cook Street shortly after midnight Wednesday. When they got to the area, they found the crumpled wreckage of a Honda Civic.
Mounties say the 18-year-old driver and two passengers – an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old female – were found dead at the scene.
All three victims were Grade 12 students at Kelowna Secondary and would have been graduating next week.
“They were, I think, just wonderful kids from good families and it’s just a tragic accident,” said Kevin Kaardal, superintendent of schools for Central Okanagan Public Schools.
“It’s a very, very difficult day for everybody, for both students and staff,” he said.
The district has brought in its Critical Incident Response Team to help grieving students.
Lyndon Sinclair went to school with the teens who were killed.
He says students learned the tragic news at school Wednesday morning.
“I don’t even know how to feel right now,” he said. “It doesn’t even feel real. I just feel numb. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”
He says there’s a lot of counselling going on at school.
“I think everyone’s talking to each other, helping each other out. The teachers are doing a good job,” he said.
RCMP are trying to piece together what led to the tragedy.
“The investigation is still in its infancy. We spent the majority of the evening and the day working to collect evidence to determine the cause of the collision,” said Const. Solana Paré of the Kelowna RCMP.
“All factors will be considered and taken into consideration during our investigation including speed, any possible impairment, roadway conditions,” she explained.
Graham Boom lives near the accident scene.
He said even with headphones on, he heard the crash.
“You just hear … metal just skating across the concrete,” he said. “And next thing you know, the big bang and there’s just ambulances and fire trucks and police everywhere.”
“It’s just awful. The loss of life like that. It’s just horrible.”
RCMP say anyone who witnessed the collision and has not spoken to police should contact them.