On Saturday morning the town of Beaumont woke up and felt a little less bright, and a lot heavier of heart. Three young lives had been taken in the early morning hours and a deep sense of loss and sadness have slowly rippled their way through town.

Brad Arsenault, 18, Kole Novak, 18, and Thaddeus Lake, 22, were killed in a horrific crash around 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 26.

"I'm still numb by it," said Kevin Costley, close friend to Novak and Aresnault. "It's hard to imagine them actually gone."

As Costley and his friend Nathan Amstine walked the ditch where the fatal crash occurred, they picked up pieces of the wreckage that were left behind, physical evidence of the losses they've endured.

Beaumont RCMP responded to a rollover in the south ditch of Highway 625, just west of 60 Street, where they located two vehicles involved in the collision, a Dodge Ram pickup and a Pontiac Grand Am.

Both vehicles were believed to be travelling eastbound at the time of the collision.

Emergency services arriving on scene pronounced the three young men dead. A fourth man, a 28-year-old from Beaumont believed to be the driver of the Dodge Ram, was transported to hospital by STARS Air Ambulance, where he remains in stable but

critical condition.

"I just keep thinking that Kole is going to walk into the room with a big smile on his face," said Amstine, remembering how warm and welcoming Novak's smile always was.

"When I start to feel really sad about this whole thing, I just think of Kole's smile and I feel a little better."

Costley echoes this sentiment. "You could put a thousand people into a room and ask them to tell you one bad quality about Kole, and it would be a silent room," he said.

Both Arsenault and Novak just graduated from Ecole Secondaire Beaumont Composite High School (ESBCHS) last June. Lake lived in Leduc and had attended Leduc Composite High School.

"We didn't know Thaddeus as well, but we've known Brad and Kole for about six years," said Amstine. "They were always together, always at each other's houses."

Costley and Amstine said they've been spending a lot of time at the Arsenault and Novak residences since finding out about the deaths of their friends. They said that talking about their friends and remembering them has been comforting.

As Costley and Amstine sifted through debris in hopes of finding anything left of their friends to cling to in this time of grief, a makeshift memorial has been made underneath a 70 km/h speed sign.

A memorial that now also functions as a chilling reminder of just how fleeting life can be.

A lesson that John Mair, principal of ESBCHS said he hopes his students will take away from the tragic loss of their friends.

"I would hope that the kids look at [the accident] from the standpoint that there are no guarantees in life and that we need to cherish those moments we spend with our family and friends," said Mair. "That we don't take those moments for granted."

An RCMP collision analyst along with a collision investigative team were at the crash site assisting with the investigation Saturday morning.

No charges have been laid at this time, but investigators believe that alcohol and speed were primary factors in the crash.

The collision remains under investigation.

A funeral mass will be held for Brad Arsenault on Monday, Dec. 5.

A celebration of Kole Novak's life will take place at ESBCHS on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 5 p.m. Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome.

Source: The Beaumont News


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