Friends mourn Chilliwack teens killed when truck plunged into Fraser River

Young mourners gathered Monday in Chilliwack, where two young men were killed when their truck plunged into Fraser River early Sunday morning.

Accident will have 'huge impact on the entire Chilliwack community,' says Mountie

Davin Padgham leaves a container of chewing tobacco at a parking lot memorial for Connor Dash at Chilliwack Secondary on Monday morning (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)

Young mourners gathered Monday in Chilliwack, where two young men were killed when their truck plunged into the Fraser River early Sunday morning.

Gerritt Niessen and Connor Dash were on their way home from a party to celebrate Dash's 18th birthday when the tragic accident occurred.

By Monday morning, makeshift memorials were erected at the scene of the accident and at the teens' high school.

"Honestly, they were like two of the greatest guys I've ever met," said Kyle Rudkevitch. "As soon as they walk into the room, everyone lights up because they're always smiling and such positive people."

Niessen's sister, Danielle, said the teens were great friends.

"Connor is a really sweet boy as well. I loved them both," Danielle said. "Connor was my other brother."

The river's-edge memorial included two crosses draped with a jacket. At Chilliwack Secondary School, students marked off Dash's parking spot with stones and filled it with flowers and candles.

Dash and Niessen shared a love of trucks and were well known at the local motor park. Friends say the boys knew each other from high school.

They graduated together last June, but Dash came back in September to pick up a couple more courses. Now, counsellors are on site to help students with their grief.

RCMP are investigating the cause of the accident. 

"This incident will have a huge impact on the entire Chilliwack community," said RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail. "It's like a small town."

with files from Belle Puri


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