This photo of Autumn Weir, 17, was captured on Tuesday, said her family. Autumn died in a single-vehicle crash west of Williams Lake in the early morning hours Saturday. (Photos submitted)

‘She was just beginning her adult life’: parents of Williams Lake crash victim Autumn Weir

“She was kind and caring and everyone she knew loved her.”

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.

READ MORE: SD27 ready to assist students and staff following Saturday crash involving teens

“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.

READ MORE: Fatal vehicle incident west of Williams Lake closes down Highway 20

“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.

READ MORE: Memorial started at scene of fatal vehicle incident near Williams Lake on Highway 20

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.

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Family and friends of Autumn Weir gathered at the memorial scene of the crash Sunday afternoon west of Williams Lake.

Autumn Weir and her family, step dad Mo Giesbrecht (from left), mom Sheri Lyons, step mom Michelle Weir and dad Dean Weir get together for a family photo during Autumn’s graduation this past June in Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

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