A tragic loss

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and friends of the two young women who were struck by a vehicle.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and friends of the two young women who were struck by a vehicle while they were crossing Carson Drive early Sunday morning.

One of the women is fortunate to be alive, and we wish her a successful and speedy recovery. Unfortunately the other wasn’t so lucky.

The passing of Rayel MacDonald, 20, came as a great shock to us and to this community. She was a beautiful young lady with a bright future ahead of her, and we offer our deepest condolences to her family. We cannot begin to imagine the pain being felt by those who knew her.

As a community, we need to reach out to the victims and their families and show our support during this time, and to also learn from this horrible incident so a tragedy like this never happens again.

Martin William Michael Gentles, 27, has been charged with impaired driving causing death and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

We recognize that there is likely a lot of anger felt toward the driver who not only allegedly struck the women while impaired, but who police say also fled the scene.

But we do not know all of the details that led to the tragic incident and ask that everyone try to reserve judgement until all of the facts are known and the matter is dealt with by the courts. We recognize that the driver, too, must be trying to cope with what happened and will have to live with the incident for the rest of his life. So many people, so many families, including those of the suspect, have been affected by this terrible, terrible incident. Our hearts break for all involved.

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