Friends remember 17-year-old killed in West Vancouver crash
WEST VANCOUVER -- Kerri Houston and three friends brought bouquets of flowers Sunday to the growing memorial at the intersection where Elijah Drasyl's BMW struck a telephone pole.
“I was shocked,” Houston told CTV News Vancouver. “I didn’t believe it. It was really hard to believe.”
Drasyl’s car crashed just before 4 a.m. Saturday in the 6300 block of Marine Drive in West Vancouver. His 19-year-old passenger was sent to hospital, and West Vancouver police have yet to provide an update on her condition. Drasyl died in the crash, and police believe speed was a factor.
“I just woke up and I got a whole bunch of texts from my friends,” said Houston, who manages the Argyle Secondary School football team. Though Drasyl was attending Mountainside Secondary, he used to go to Argyle and continued to play on their football team.
“He got injured in one of the games early in the season, and he still came to every practice,” she said. “We’d sit on the sidelines, he’d spread his positivity and I just enjoyed spending time with him.”
The team posted a video of him playing on Instagram with a caption that reads, in part, “Eli will always be loved and remember[ed] by us for his will and drive to make his teammates better and get the best out of them. Eli was a born leader and it's a giant loss to the world to lose someone with so much left to give.”
Houston told CTV News he “loved his sports,” and that the athletic awards are coming up at school.
“I’m definitely going to include him in there,” she said. “He just really deserves it.”
Describing the teen as one of the happiest people she knows and a bit of a goofball, Houston went on to say, “he made everybody laugh. He’s one of my favourite people.”
But she said Drasyl wouldn’t want his friends to be sad.
“He’d say, 'Come on, cheer up,' you know?" Houston said. "'Don’t be sad. Just keep smiling and remember the good times.'”