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‘I’m never going to hold my sister again’: Chilliwack teens mourned after fatal crash

Click to play video: 'Chilliwack fatal crash victims remembered' Chilliwack fatal crash victims remembered
The families of two teens who died when the vehicle they were in plunged into the Fraser River in Chilliwack this past weekend are reflecting on the loss and wondering whether the tragedy could have been prevented. Grace Ke reports. – Oct 12, 2020

Friends and family have identified the victims in a tragic crash in Chilliwack over the weekend.

The crash happened just after 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, in the 46000 block of Ballam Road.

Mounties say they responded to reports of a car flipping and ending up in the Fraser River, trapping three occupants — two girls, ages 17 and 18, and a 21-year-old man — inside.

Click to play video: 'Two teens killed after crash sends vehicle into Fraser River in Chilliwack' Two teens killed after crash sends vehicle into Fraser River in Chilliwack
Two teens killed after crash sends vehicle into Fraser River in Chilliwack – Oct 11, 2020

Family of Ruby Kingma say she died in the crash. The 18-year-old had dreams of becoming a nurse.

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“Ruby lit up every single room that she walked into with her joy, her ability to make people feel at ease, to make them feel happy,” sister Bethany Neufeld said.

Shayla Sinai says her sister Rachel Plowman, 17, also died in the crash.

She remembers the moment a family member gave her the heartbreaking news.

Read more: Woman swims to shore after car plunges into Kettle River: Grand Forks RCMP

“It was, ‘Shayla, I need to tell you something. Rachel’s been in a car accident and she’s passed away,'” she recalled tearfully.

“I went into some weird shock and it was, ‘No, so where is she? OK, where is she? No, Rachel’s not gone.’ It was like disbelief.”

Sinai remembers Plowman as a young mother who overcame adversity to care for her two-year-old son.

She still can’t believe her sister is gone.

“I’m never going to hold my sister again,” Sinai said through tears. “I’m going to miss that. I’m going to miss her voice.”

“I know that they had each other and they were able to say goodbye and their last thoughts were, ‘I know my son is going to be OK,’ and, ‘I know everybody loves us.'”

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Read more: RCMP recover bodies of teens who died when car crashed into West Kootenay river

The 21-year-old driver remains in hospital in critical condition.

Investigators have not yet ruled out speed and alcohol as factors in the crash.

— With files from Simon Little

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