Funerals for the four teens killed in a northern Alberta car crash last weekend began Thursday.
Hundreds of family, friends, classmates and strangers laid Walter Borden-Wilkins, 15, to rest at a ceremony across the street from his Grande Prairie high school. A memorial with photos and football jerseys sat at the front of the hall as mourners praised the young man’s infectious smile, sense of humour and unwavering determination in football, skateboarding and snowboarding. Much of his team attended, wearing white jerseys.
Later Thursday, a ceremony remembering Tanner Hildebrand was held at a nearby church. The 15-year-old, like the young Walter Borden-Wilkins, was a Grade 10 student on the local football team.
On Friday, Vincent Stover and Matthew Deller, both 16, will be laid to rest in separate ceremonies. A public memorial for all four boys will be held Sunday, a day after the mourning team plays a semi-final football game.
The young men were killed early Saturday morning when their car was struck by a pickup truck. All four were pronounced dead at the scene. A fifth, Zach Judd, survived and is in critical but stable condition at an Edmonton hospital.
The 21-year-old driver of the truck is facing 11 charges, including several related to impaired driving. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.