About 150 friends of Brandon Thomas gathered for a candlelight vigil in Cochrane Saturday night to remember the 17 year-old student who was killed in a collision with a drunk driver on Thursday. The gathering also raised money to help out Brandon's single mom Kim who attended the event

Many signed a display that included photos of the 17-year-old student, killed in an alleged drunk driving incident Thursday.

Motorist faces six charges, including impaired driving causing death

Drinking and driving was on the minds of everyone at a candlelight vigil held in honour of a Cochrane teenager Saturday night.

Hundreds of people battled the cold to pay respects to Brandon Thomas, 17, who was killed in a car crash Thursday, allegedly at the hands of a drunk driver.

His mother, Kim, blamed poor decisions made by the other driver.

“My son, he’s not going to come home again and I’m not going to hug him again because somebody made a bad decision,” she said.

“I can never bring him back, but my son was the kindest, most forgiving, softest, gentle soul for a 17 year old. That’s not gone, that’s still here.”

Brandon’s death has rocked the community, with some friends describing him as the stable foundation in a lot of friendships.

“This led to an entire community pulling together,” said Emilly Robson, a close friend and organizer of the vigil. “We lost a very important rock in a lot of friends groups. It’s really nice to see everyone pull together for him, it’s what he would have wanted.”

Robson described Thomas as a guy who was friends with everyone and could be counted on in times of need.

“What’s really unfortunate is that he is the one who would stay sober on his own birthday so he could drive everyone home,” she said.

“I can’t even stress it enough, drinking and driving (allegedly) just took someone away from us who was special and we are never going to get him back, and I just hope that this pushes onto people that you can’t do that.”

The fatal incident took place shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday.

Police said the alleged drunk motorist was driving a pickup truck south in the northbound lane on Highway 22, three kilometres south of Cochrane.

The truck side-swiped two oncoming vehicles and both were forced to take evasive action, police said. One vehicle that was attempting to avoid the truck rolled three times in the ditch.

The truck then collided head on with a northbound Subaru Impreza, driven by Thomas, trapping him in the vehicle. He died at the scene.

Police have charged Ryan Jordan Gibson, 22, of Calgary, with six charges, including impaired driving causing death and driving while over .08 causing death. He will appear in Cochrane court on Tuesday.

Source: Calgary Herald


Last updated on: 2013-01-17 | Link to this post