The Accident

Oct. 13th, 2004

From the Family of Chris Campbell,

On Saturday Oct. 9th at approx. 9:30, Chris Campbell, died in a horrific car crash in the Royal York and Dundas area. The vehicle was travelling at a high rate of speed when it hit a tree, a wall, and another tree where it exploded on impact. The coroner stated that it was very likely the death occurred upon impact from the explosion.

That night, prior to the accident, several of Chris’ friends had gathered at his home where they spent the evening watching movies, and playing pool. After they left, Chris remained at home, when he decided to take his father’s car for a “joy ride”. Both parents were not home the evening these events took place.

At this point we cannot say whether alcohol was factor in the accident. What we can say, is that he was not properly licensed to drive the vehicle, nor did he have the experience and judgement to be able to operate the vehicle on his own.

“New teen drivers do not have the wealth of experience on which to base their risk analysis and assessment. As such they are more limited in both their range of choices for any given situation and their understanding of the consequences for any choice they make…The tragedy for teen drivers is that the consequences of poor choices are so often fatal. In many other areas of life there is room for mistakes, but when it comes to driving teens are taking their life.”(1)

By all accounts, Chris was “the good kid in the group”, loved for “his compassion and kindness for others”. He was popular with his teachers and students alike, with good grades, good looks and a very positive attitude towards everyone. “He was always making people laugh and always had a smile on his face.” His family life was harmonious, with a loving devoted father, a loving attentive mother, and happy relations with his twin brother Will and younger brother Michael. He was very ambitious, and bright with plans to attend university, and one day open his own company. He made one mistake and paid the ultimate price.

The untold story here is the extraordinary support that has come from the community. Since the accident, hundreds of people, each day, have stopped by the accident scene and expressed their condolences in so many ways. “I have never seen anything like this” expressed the family’s priest. Neighbours, students, teachers, family members, and various other members of the community united on Sunday night in a spontaneous vigil to honour Chris which has been repeated every night with increasing numbers. Hundreds of people have also written messages of support and condolences on a blog setup at Messages have come in from as far way as Poland, Michigan, Ukraine, and Israel.

“If there is one good thing that can come from this tragedy is that others will learn from Chris’ mistakes.” stated Chris’ mother.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for all the support that they have received. The funeral will be held at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on Friday at 10:30 a.m. A simultaneous mass will also held in Jastkowice, Poland.

(1) Gary Direnfeld, MSW, Executive Director
I Promise Program
20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, Ontario, Canada L9H 6R5
(905) 628-4847

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