The Greater Trail community is mourning the loss of a senior J. L. Crowe Secondary student and holding on with hope for two other classmates in critical condition.
The three young men, ages 17-18, were seriously injured when their car lost control near the Trail airport on April 7. The BC Coroners Service has confirmed that 17-year-old Nolan Handley of Trail succumbed to his injuries Wednesday at Kelowna General Hospital.
Handley was well known in the sporting community, playing a variety of sports and most recently as an affiliate player with the Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The Leafs held a moment of silence for their teammate prior to the start of the Cyclone Taylor Cup provincial Junior B championships on Thursday in Nelson.
Crowe principal David DeRosa would like to express his deepest respects and condolences to the families directly affected by last week’s event. His thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.
“Our staff and students continue to absorb and cope with the events of (last) week with the support of their families, friends and in some cases, counselling,” he told the Times via email.
Crowe follows a grief and crisis intervention protocol that includes a range of student and staff support options.
“We do our best to reach out to the entire school population and then as staff, we are aware of specific reactions and behaviours to watch for in individual students,” he added. “We provide students with the option of direct access to our counsellors or staff, provide external professional supports and or have parents come to the school to pick up their children if that is their preference.”
Teachers are debriefed daily, he said, all while trying to keep face and provide students with routine and the comfort of familiarity at their school.
“It is a very difficult balance,” he said.
The two other youth involved remain in critical condition at this time.
The crash occurred just before 10 p.m. on the stretch of Highway 22 near the airstrip, according to Acting Sgt. John Ferguson of the West Kootenay Traffic Services.
The male driver of a 2002 Grey Acura and his passengers were ejected from the car after the vehicle went off the road and rolled.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services continue to investigate.