Summer August had a smile that could light up your day.
She is being remembered this week by family and friends as a wonderful young person in the Sechelt First Nation community after her life was cut short following a tragic car accident last Saturday morning.
She was 18.
“The apple of her parents’ eye was a shared love by our entire community. These are the things that we will remember and cherish…about our beautiful Summer,” said Coast Reporter columnist Candace Campo. “Summer, like her grandmother, the late Donna Joe, had the gift for language. Summer could speak she shashishalhem better than most, her pronunciation was strong, and as a result she would be sought as the narrator for all of the school plays in our Sechelt language.”
Teacher Rita Joe described Summer as a studious, hard-working and very intelligent student who was a role model to all of the students and would often come into the language class during her breaks to assist the other students.
Summer, a talented artist, attended Emily Carr University. One of her biggest projects was a painted mural, the chain-ku (a double headed sea-serpent), that is now up in Sechelt Creek at the Regional Power station.
Summer, a member of the August family, was born and raised to play soccer and played soccer with her dad Rick, mother Dawn and siblings Brandon, Eliza and Everette.
“Comments shared over this past week as we cope with our loss is that Summer was beautiful like her mom and she also played the game, she so loved, just like her mom,” added Campo.
Sunshine Coast RCMP, Sechelt fire fighters and paramedics responded to the accident scene in the 6100 block of Highway 101 just after 5 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30.
“When police arrived on scene, the driver and three passengers had managed to get themselves out of the car, but the fourth passenger needed to be extricated by members of the Sechelt fire department,” said media relations’ officer Const. Harrison Mohr. “Paramedics responded and transported the driver and three passengers to St. Mary’s Hospital with minor injuries. The fourth passenger was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, but died later in the morning.
“It is a sad day for Sechelt, and our thoughts go out to the girl’s family.”
Mohr said the car was southbound on the highway, when it veered off road, travelled part way down an embankment, and collided with a large tree. No other vehicles were involved.
He said the three other passengers were females aged 17 to 19. Two were from Sechelt, and one was from North Vancouver. The driver was a 19-year-old male from Vancouver, who had a class 7 “novice” licence, limiting him to one passenger.
“It appears that the young driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel,” said Mohr. “Alcohol was not a factor in the crash. We will certainly be looking at why the driver had more passengers than he was allowed to be carrying, and whether that played a role in the collision.”
RCMP say the driver has not been charged with any offences, however the investigation is continuing.
A prayer service will take place this Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. at the home of Rick and Dawn August at 5667 Kwatamus Ave. in Sechelt.
A community memorial service will be held at the Sechelt Indian Band Hall this Sunday, Sept. 7 at 11 a.m.
© Coast Reporter