Autumn Weir was a beautiful, caring and well-loved teen, said her family Monday.
The 17-year-old’s life was cut short on the weekend in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 20 just west of the city early Saturday morning.
In all, six teens were travelling in a GMC pickup truck back into Williams Lake when it veered off the road and rolled at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 19 near the Sheep Creek Bridge.
One youth escaped with minor injuries and four others were sent to hospital with varying degrees of injuries from serious to critical.
Autumn, a passenger, died at the scene, said her dad, Dean Weir, and step mom, Michelle Weir, who co-raised Autumn along with her mom, Sheri Lyons, and her partner, Mo Giesbrecht, in a tight-knit, blended family.
“She had just graduated in June, and gotten a job. She was just beginning her adult life,” Dean said from his home in Williams Lake Monday morning.
“She was kind and caring and everyone she knew loved her. She would have turned 18 on Dec. 12.”
Dean and Michelle both said they have received an overwhelming amount of support in the early days since the incident, which has had a far-reaching impact on families, friends, the local schools and the business where Autumn worked, Caribou Ski Source for Sports.
“She had so many bonds with so many people,” Michelle said. “We knew Williams Lake was small, but we didn’t know our community was this big. We’ve had people reaching out that don’t even know us.”
Autumn was a big sister to Dean and Michelle’s children Hailey, 13, and Levi, 12, as well as Sheri and Mo’s daughter, Gracie, 10.
Together, the families are leaning on each other for support and, on Sunday, visited the site of the crash, which had already been marked with flowers.
“When we got there, there were a ton of kids already at the site,” Dean said. “Everyone was crying, but they gave us our space. I put up a cross, and cleaned up the mess that was left there and left my haywire and pliers there for other people to put flowers up.”
The visit to the scene was an extremely emotional one, Michelle added.
Dean said his daughter had a silly sense of humour, loved quading, listening to music and hanging out with friends.
“She was just up here on Tuesday for dinner and she’d put a post up on Facebook last week that said she was so thankful for her friends and family,” he said.
“It was almost like she was saying goodbye without knowing it.”
The family has confirmed a celebration of life will be held for Autumn this Saturday, Oct. 26 beginning at 1 p.m. in the Gibraltar Room in Williams Lake.
School District 27, meanwhile, confirmed with the Tribune that supports are in place for students and staff impacted by the crash.
In a news release issued Monday morning, RCMP said they are continuing to investigate whether alcohol was a factor in the crash and are requesting anyone with information about the crash to contact them at 250-392-6211 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.