Barrie crash that killed six leaves community in shock

The flags were lowered after six young adults from Barrie, north of Toronto, were killed in a single-vehicle collision.

Barrie police discovered the scene of the crash at 2 a.m. Sunday near McKay Road and Veteran’s Drive, which is between County Road 27 and Highway 400. This stretch of road is currently a construction site. active construction and the intersection in question has been closed since the spring, the city confirmed.

A makeshift memorial has begun to form near the scene of the collision as grieving community members lay flowers and other keepsakes.

The victims — four men and two women — are all in their early 20s, Barrie Police Services communications coordinator Jennett Mays told CTV News. They are believed to be the same group of people who had gone to a nearby casino together on Friday night and were reported missing the next day after friends lost contact with them.

Although Barrie police have not released the names of those who died, details about their identities are beginning to emerge.

According to longtime lacrosse coach and sports announcer Jim Lowe, one of the youths killed is local player-turned-coach Luke West.

Lowe remembered the 22-year-old, whom he had known since he was eight, as an incredible man and “one hell of a lacrosse player”.

Luke West, seen in this photo, was among six people killed in an accident in Barrie. (Submitted)

He said West was someone who gave back to the game he loved by volunteering at lacrosse clinics and then showing others “how to be better lacrosse players.” This summer, West was the assistant coach of the Barrie Bombers U17-2 team.

“He just did it because he wanted to give back, and he became a role model for these young men,” Lowe said, adding that one of his favorite moments was calling the first junior lacrosse goal. of West.

West appeared in six provincial championship finals, winning two of them – one as a player and the other as a coach where he received a silver medal.

“The game helped him throughout his life and took him to places and gave him memories. … Unfortunately, that story ended way too soon,” Lowe said.

The Barrie Minor Lacrosse Association posted a tribute to West on its Facebook page, remembering him as a locker room favorite due to his toughness, tenacity and incredible lacrosse IQ.

“Westy – the impact you have had on your teammates, your coaches and the young men you have coached is immeasurable. Few have worked harder in Bomber Blue, few can claim to have carried us so high. We love you, we miss you and are grateful for the time we spent with you,” they wrote.

Another victim, Haley Marin, is being mourned on social media by her best friend Karen Ross, who said Marin was the only friend she could share anything and everything with. Ross called her a “beautiful soul, person and friend”.

The identities of the other four victims have not been independently confirmed.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman has taken to Twitter to offer his condolences.

“Thinking of the friends and families of these young people and I know there will be many in our community who will need support in the days and weeks to come,” he wrote in a post Sunday after -midday.

Calling the tragedy his ‘worst nightmare’ as a parent, Lehman urged people to ‘remember to show the strength of Barrie’s compassion at this time and give families respect and space on this horrific day. , and in the days to come as our community mourns.”

On Sunday, two community members stopped in the McKay Road area of ​​Barrie with a bouquet of flowers. Six local youths were killed in a single-vehicle collision over the weekend.

Speaking to CP24, Lehman said the tragedy hit “our community very, very hard” as six local families “just had their lives ripped apart in an instant”.

The exact circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Barrie Police Department.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Bryann Aguilar and Andrew Brennan