The community is mourning the loss of Shelby Rowland, 21, who was killed on Friday afternoon, July 13, while riding an ATV on a forest service road in West Sechelt.
“She was just too young,” said Marion Chabot, the mother of Rowland’s boyfriend who had been with her for seven years.
According to a friend of the family, Rowland was riding as a passenger with her sister, Lindsay, when the ATV was struck by the SUV operated by a 19-year-old male Sechelt driver.
The girls’ ATV was struck from behind at approximately 5:30 p.m. While Lindsay escaped with minor injuries, emergency crews pronounced her sister dead at the scene.
According to Sunshine Coast RCMP, alcohol was not considered a factor in the accident, however excessive speed was being investigated and the Integrated Collision Analyst Reconstruction team attended the scene. Investigation into the accident continues.
The sisters were wearing their helmets, said detachment media spokesperson Cpl. Steven Chubey. He said the collision occurred on the forest service road near the Mason mine site, just north of Sechelt.
“She loved her horses, her dogs, her family,” Chabot said Monday morning. She was watching the Rowland household while the family made funeral arrangements.
A celebration of life is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Coopers Green this Friday (July 20) and is open to the public. A tribute to Rowland on Facebook received numerous messages of condolences from members of the community throughout the weekend.
Rowland worked at the Pharmasave in Sechelt, a position she held for as many as three years. Her colleagues were “just devastated,” said owner Lynn Kennedy.
“She is irreplaceable, just a wonderful girl,” Kennedy said. “She was loving, caring, just a wonderful girl…She just bubbled with personality, with everybody. She was so good with customers.”
Kennedy said staff members received the news with great difficulty.
“Everybody’s trying to pull together,” she said. “They’re pulling together, really trying hard. I guess (Sunday) was really tough with (customers) asking all the time,” she said.
Check back with Coast Reporter for updates on this story throughout the week and in Friday’s print and on-line editions.