The three young men who passed away in last Saturday's tragic accident outside of Beaumont, included 22-year-old, Leduc resident Thaddeus Lake, who is being remembered not from his final moments, but for the memories he left with loved ones.

Lake was one of the three young men in the Pontiac Grand Am who perished in a two-car collision with a Dodge Ram pick-up truck in the early morning hours of Saturday, Nov. 26 on Highway 625 near 60 Street in Beaumont.

It's not the death, but the life of Lake that loved ones want him to be remembered by.

"I want them to remember the impression Thad left on them and the memories they shared. Thaddeus lit up every room he walked into with his enthusiastic and outgoing personality, so I'm sure those memories would be hard to forget," said Trisha Watson, lead singer for The Maddigans, the band Lake was a part of until recently.

Don Steenwinkel, a music teacher at Leduc Composite High School (LCHS) taught Lake while he was in high school and remembers the passion Lake had for many aspects of life.

"Thad loved music, loved his friends and his family," said Steenwinkel, who taught Lake until he graduated in 2007.

One of Lake's loves was the arts and music — an aspect of his life he had a real knack for.

"I didn't teach Thaddeus a thing. I went along for a ride and watched him grow and marveled at his abilities and his passion. He will be remembered this way, and I'm thankful to have known him," commented Steenwinkel.

Lake's musical talents clearly shone throughout his high school career and time as the bassist with The Maddigans, an Edmonton based band.

"He was a multi-talented musician, singing and playing several instruments. He was able to pick up others when he got bored and needed a new challenge," reminisced Steenwinkel.

Once someone met Lake, it was hard to forget him.

"His creative spirit and infectious energy quickly made us realize that if you didn't get him, you weren't going to get through to him no matter what subject you taught," said Steenwinkel.

It would be too hard to pinpoint all the memories Lake left with his loved ones, but it's easy to say his personality left a mark on those he met.

Watson experienced plenty of those moments with Lake as they toured together, but recalls one of those moments in particular, when Lake wanted to surprise his girlfriend after a long time on the road.

"He hadn't seen her in two months, so after a show in Tisdale, SK he asked us a favour. He wanted us to drive all night so he could surprise her with a Taylor Swift song he had been planning to sing and play on guitar," reminisced Watson.

"Watching him run up to the door with the acoustic guitar and a huge smile on his face was one of those 'knight in shining armour' moments."

"The reason why I like this memory so much is that it really showcases how passionate and loyal he really was," said Watson.

The manner in which Lake interacted and treated people was exactly the way he lived his life, said Watson.

"One of his recent Twitter posts, "Life is what you make of it, so make it great!" sums it up. He never wanted to take anything for granted and he really did live by that, and everybody knew that."

"Not only was Thad such an outgoing and fun friend to have, he was also the most loyal and caring one."

Accident now being called alleged drunk driving incident

18-year-olds Bradley Arsenault and Kole Novak, both from Beaumont, along with Lake all were killed instantly after the Pontiac Grand Am they were travelling in collided into a Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Arsenault, Novak and Lake were all pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The 28-year-old driver of the truck was taken to an Edmonton hospital where he still remains in critical condition.

According to Const. Jodi Heidinger of the Leduc RCMP, the driver of the pick-up truck found at the scene was impaired.

"It's going to be a while before we get toxicology reports back, but at this time, we do believe that the (man) from the pick-up truck was impaired," said Heidinger.

"We haven't confirmed if he was the driver of the truck and we don't know if any of the three young men that were killed were under the influence."

Leduc RCMP now believe the driver of the pick-up truck was impaired at the time of the collision, which they also believe could have resulted after a street race between the two vehicles.

The police also do not know if any of the three men in the Pontiac were under the influence before the accident.

Leduc RCMP were called to a report of a single vehicle rollover around 2:45 a.m. Saturday on Highway 625 and 60 Street on the edge of the Town of Beaumont.

Police found the truck in the south ditch of the highway and the Pontiac was found immediately west of where the truck was found.

Both vehicles were travelling eastbound and struck each other before going off the road, said police. Speed and alcohol are believed to be the "primary factors" in the accident, added police.

No charges have been laid as a result of the crash, but an investigation is still underway.

Source: The Leduc Rep


Last updated on: 2012-07-10 | Link to this post