Members of an Irish dance club in Saskatoon are mourning the death of 16-year-old Lauren Spence, who was killed in a car accident in Alberta on Friday.
Spence was one of three people in a car that collided with another vehicle on Highway 21 near Beiseker, Alta., northeast of Calgary. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
A 67-year-old woman travelling in the same vehicle as Spence was critically injured and a third occupant, a 43-year-old woman, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle, who was the lone occupant, was taken to a local hospital.
'An amazing leader'
A Facebook post from the River City School of Irish Dance wished Spence's mother, Raycine, and her grandmother, June, a speedy recovery.
According to the post, Spence was a beloved member of the club.
"Lauren was an amazing leader and role model for our younger dancers, always taking the time to teach them a new move or congratulate them on a job well done," read the post.
"She was our ray of sunshine, always bringing laughter and love into each class she attended."
Counsellors sent to school
The club also wrote that dancers at a competition in Calgary had danced in honour of Spence, along with other dancers from western Canadian schools.
They said she had been an Irish dancer for many years.
Saskatoon Public Schools confirmed Spence was a student within the school division and that counsellors were sent to the Marion M. Graham Collegiate on Monday morning.
Letters with advice for parents on helping children through a tragedy were also distributed.
A spokesperson for the school district said counselling and support for the students would continue as needed.
Rain, hail on night of crash
Police believe hail and heavy rain might have been a factor in the crash.
The 67-year-old woman injured in the crash was flown by air ambulance to a Calgary hospital with critical, potentially life-threatening injuries.
The STARS helicopter could not land at the scene due to the inclement weather and an alternative landing zone had to be set up.
The 43-year-old woman was taken to Calgary by ground ambulance, and the 58-year-old female driver of the other vehicle, an SUV, was taken to a local hospital in non-life-threatening condition.