‘Grief is so deep’: Friends and family mourn young Surrey athletes killed in car crash

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“These are three boys who have known each other for so long. They are such good kids, I had them all in my house. I spent time with all these kids. It’s so sad, they were so loved.” – Tammy McNabb

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The three teenage hockey players who died in a car crash early Saturday morning were “very close,” according to a mom who knew them well.

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Tammy McNabb’s son Dalton played hockey for years with Caleb Reimer, Parker Magnuson and Ronin Sharma.

“Caleb calls me mom # 2. I call Caleb son # 2,” McNabb said Monday, fighting back tears. “Our boys are best friends.”

Reimer, 16, Magnuson, 17, and Sharma, 16, were killed early Saturday morning when the car they were driving pulled off the road and hit a tree. The accident happened at around 2:45 a.m., near the start of a curve on 104 Avenue in the Fraser Heights neighborhood of Surrey, just west of Fraserglen Drive, a few meters from the Trans-Canada Highway.

McNabb said she didn’t know where the boys were going in the car, or what they were doing outside so late.

Three teenage hockey players - Caleb Reimer, Parker Magnuson and Ronin Sharma - died in a car crash in the Fraser Heights neighborhood of Surrey early on Saturday.
Three teenage hockey players – Caleb Reimer, Parker Magnuson and Ronin Sharma – died in a car crash in the Fraser Heights neighborhood of Surrey early on Saturday. Photo by Postmedia

The parents of the three boys were able to reunite over the weekend to share their initial grief, McNabb said.

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“Like all families, it is parents who have devoted everything to these young boys,” she said. “And that’s the time in life where they get into their thing. It’s the push, we’ve got them all to this point. This is where the flower of youth blossoms.

“The grief is so deep I can’t even tell you. We are disgusted.

McNabb got involved in a GoFundMe effort that was first started by a “friend of a friend” of one of the deceased.

“It’s a tight bunch of friends, so they all hung out together,” McNabb said. “They all went to Delta Hockey Academy, initially GoFundMe’s intention was to cover the expenses. … But each family will have to decide what to do (with the funds). They are all very good families, I know it will be spent (with) good intentions.

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Watching his son and his friends cope with the pain of a sudden loss like this was doubly painful for McNabb.

“There are a number of their teammates who are talking about having a three-on-three charity tournament next summer,” she said.

“I feel sorrow (for them), it’s so hard for teenagers, how instantly the information gets to them. These are three boys who have known each other for so long. They are such good children, I had them all in my house. I spent time with all of these kids. It’s so sad, they were so loved.

Magnuson’s uncle Layne Magnuson posted on Facebook on Sunday to say that Parker’s parents are asking people to give them space in their homes.

“They appreciate all the thoughts and prayers coming from everywhere,” Magnuson wrote. “I want you all to know that they are surrounded by family members who are trying to help them through this difficult time.”

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Surrey RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Eleanore Sturko said on Monday that investigators were still collecting forensic data and taking action from Saturday’s fatal crash.

“We hope to get more information which we can provide to families and then to the public in the coming days,” she said.

On Monday afternoon, the Surrey Detachment Neighborhood Incident Response Support Team met with residents affected by the tragedy at Fraser Heights Recreation Center. In attendance were school resource officers, members of the RCMP traffic and victim services teams.

“It gives people the opportunity to tell us how they feel, to ask us questions about our inquiries, we answer them as best we can,” Sturko said. “We also give them information on other places where they can receive support and we will also encourage them to contact their health care providers.

“A lot of people are affected by this. It’s hard when the community loses young people. We have had other recent deaths of young people. It was the same. People feel a lot of emotion because of the fragility of life and the innocence of youth. “

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