Post 23Three young men who died in a car crash south of Edmonton over the weekend were mourned by friends, family and community during an emotional candlelight vigil Sunday night.

Dozens of people streamed by a makeshift memorial for Bradley Arsenault and Kole Novak, both 18, and 22-year-old Thaddeus Lake, leaving candles, flowers and skateboard decks next to their photographs.

The vigil was held at the skatepark in Beaumont, a favourite hangout of Arsenault and Novak, roommates who graduated high school last spring.

“They were the best kids,” Novak’s father, Zane Novak, told the crowd. “The best the community could raise.”

He urged the crowd, made up largely of teenagers and young adults, to stay safe, particularly when driving.

The teens walked out of his living room Friday evening to meet up with Lake, Novak said, “and we will never see them again.”

Leduc RCMP were called to a report of a single-vehicle rollover around 2:45 a.m. Saturday, on the south edge of Beaumont, west of the intersection of Highway 625 and 60th Street. Police found a Dodge Ram pickup truck in the south ditch of the highway. A Pontiac Grand Am was found immediately west of where the truck landed.

Both vehicles were travelling eastbound and struck each other before going off the road, police said. Speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors. Charges have not been laid in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Arsenault and Novak, both of Beaumont, and Lake, of Leduc, were passengers in the Grand Am. All three were pronounced dead at the scene. The 28-year-old driver of the pickup was taken to an Edmonton hospital where he remains in critical condition.-

Adam Gilbert, a childhood friend of Arsenault, was at the crash scene Sunday morning.

They last spoke on Thursday, Gilbert said, making plans for his 21st birthday in Edmonton on Saturday.

Gilbert was looking forward to seeing his friend. They texted back and forth on Friday night, and Gilbert was expecting to see Bradley the next day. But on Saturday, he woke up to messages that Arsenault had been killed in a car crash early that morning.

“I dropped to my knees. I just locked myself in my room,” he said.

Gilbert and Arsenault grew up together on neighbouring acreages in Beaumont. “We were the best of friends for the longest time,” Gilbert recalled.

When Gilbert moved to Leduc more than two years ago, he and Arsenault began to grow apart. Then, over the past year, the two got back in touch and began spending more time together, Gilbert said.

“Then this happens,” he said, clutching a bouquet of yellow flowers he laid next to six other bouquets marking the crash scene on the side of the highway.

Both Novak and Arsenault graduated in June from Ecole Secondaire Beaumont Composite High School, and had recently moved in together. Arsenault was working as a construction worker building houses, Gilbert said.

He described Novak and Arsenault as fans of outdoor sports, especially skateboarding and snowboarding.
“I know those two were crazy at skateboarding. And once the snow hit, they’d be on the slopes,” Gilbert said.

The roommates spent a lot of time together and were always fun to be around, he added.
“It’s sad that it happened to them. But they’re together now,” he said. “The best die young, I guess.”

Source: Global TV Edmonton


Last updated on: 2012-07-18 | Link to this post