A 21-year-old man is facing numerous charges Sunday after a collision near Grande Prairie left four local teens dead and another in serious condition in an Edmonton hospital.
The car holding the five teenagers was struck by a GMC Sierra pickup truck as they drove home from a party early Saturday morning.
RCMP announced that Brenden Holubowich is facing 11 charges related to the collision, including impaired driving causing death and failure to remain at the scene.
Matthew Deller, 16, Vincent Stover, 16, Walter Borden-Wilkins, 15, and Tanner Hildebrand, 15, lost their lives in the crash and 15-year-old Zach Judd was critically injured and airlifted to hospital.
Roughly 1,000 people showed up at a vigil held for the teens at the Grande Prairie Composite High School football field.
Three of the families of the boys that were killed also attended.
"It means the world to know that all of them knew the four boys and cared about them," said Matthew’s father Leon Deller.
He said his son would have appreciated it.
'It hits pretty close'
Students released orange balloons, representing the school’s colour, and lit candles. The balloons had messages and the jersey numbers of the four boys who died written on them. All five teens played on the high school football team.
Rick Gilson, the school’s principal and football coach, said a prayer and led the Warriors football team in a cheer.
"Each of them is so special to their families, their siblings and to their teammates and friends here at school," he told CBC reporter Briar Stewart at the vigil.
"This group is very close, it’s a team ... so it hits pretty close."
Grief counsellors will be on hand at the school when classes resume Tuesday. Monday classes were already cancelled because of a professional development day for the teachers.
Holubowich sustained non-life-threatening injuries
The effects of the tragedy are being felt outside the school walls as well.
"In times like this we need to come together as a community and support one another as best we can," Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given wrote on Facebook. "Lend the families your strength and prayers. Provide a kind shoulder to your neighbour if they need it."
The crash happened just a couple kilometres south of Grande Prairie on an industrial highway called the Correction Line.
RCMP Const. Carol McKinley said Holubowich sustained non-life-threatening injuries and allegedly fled the crash scene but was arrested shortly after.
Holubowich was released on bail but has a scheduled court appearance on Oct. 31 at the Grande Prairie provincial courthouse.
The collision comes one week after four teenagers were killed in a vehicle rollover near Magrath in southern Alberta.