Three separate car crashes claimed five young lives — including that of a Langley teen — and put several more in jeopardy, during one of the deadliest weekends on B.C. roads in recent memory.
In Vernon, two women, both 21, were killed early Sunday when a pickup carrying five people missed a curve and rolled. Speed and alcohol are both considered factors in that tragedy.
Two days earlier in Cranbrook, two young men aged 17 and 19 were killed when their pickup struck a tree.
Although police have given no insight so far into what might have contributed to that crash, it’s a fair guess that unless the truck had mechanical trouble of some sort, it likely wasn’t being driven within the confines of the law.
That does, at least, appear to be the case in the crash that happened near Mission overnight on Saturday, which killed 15-year-old Brookswood Secondary student Lidia Ramos.
In that case, speed is cited as the likely reason the older model Nissan failed to negotiate a turn on a slippery road and slid down an embankment.
Whatever the cause of each crash, the result is the same.
Five more lives have been needlessly lost, and their families are now facing the future without a beloved child.
“Think about the passengers you have with you,” pleaded Lidia’s mother, Angela.
“There’s no need to speed. No one needs to lose their child or sibling.”
It’s a simple message, but one that doesn’t always get through.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of death among teenagers, and one third of crashes involving 16 and 17-year-old drivers occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., when fewer drivers are out on the roads.
According to BCAA, drivers aged 16 to 19 in Canada have a fatality rate more than four times as high as that of drivers aged 25 to 34 and nine times as high as that of drivers aged 45 to 54.
Whether it’s a sense of invincibility or an inability to connect action and consequence without firsthand experience, it’s hard to say.
What we do know is that the deaths leave many other big questions unanswered.
Who and what could these young people have become? What might they have accomplished, given the chance?
The possibilities were once endless.
Now, they’re non-existent.