The tragic death of 14-year-old Marcus Larabie is having a “ripple effect” in the community, according to the executive director of an Abbotsford youth centre.
Les Talvio of Cyrus Centre, a drop-in facility for youth, said although Larabie was not a regular at the site, his death has impacted many.
Larabie was struck by a 2009 Mazda 3 while he was in the area of Bourquin Crescent West and Mill Lake Road at about 6:15 p.m. on Friday. He was airlifted to hospital in critical condition, and he died just before midnight.
Talvio said Cyrus Centre called in extra staff on Saturday to help support teens through their grief, and staff from Youth Unlimited, a Christian-based youth ministry, were also on hand.
Many of the youth made cards and posters that they posted at Cyrus Centre or placed at the roadside memorial that is growing in the area where the collision occurred.
Talvio said even those who didn’t know Larabie, a student at Abbotsford senior secondary, were stunned by his death.
“The emotion that was expressed by all the youth was sadness,” he said.
Talvio said Cyrus Centre staff have reached out to Larabie’s family to let them know that they are available to offer whatever support the family might need.
Friends and family have been grieving Larabie’s loss on social media, where they describe him as a “sweet soul” and an “awesome kid.”
“How on Earth is one to wrap their head around such a tremendous, sad and sudden loss such as this?” stated one post.
“He was such a sweetheart,” stated another.
Meanwhile, it could be several weeks before the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) concludes its investigation into the collision.
The IIO was called in because the driver involved is an off-duty Abbotsford Police officer.
The IIO investigates officer-related incidents that involve death or serious harm in order to determine whether an officer might have committed an offence and whether a report should be made to Crown counsel for consideration of criminal charges.
Following the collision on Friday night, IIO investigators were deployed to multiple locations and spent the night identifying and interviewing potential witnesses, canvassing for video surveillances and seizing physical evidence from the scene.
Kellie Kilpatrick of the IIO said early indications are that alcohol was not a factor in the collision and that the driver was heading south on a green light at the time.
She said investigators are still working to determine where in the intersection Larabie was at the time of the crash and to confirm reports that he was riding a skateboard or longboard.
Anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the collision is asked to contact the IIO at 1-855-446-8477.