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Funerals for Red Hill crash victims set for Monday and Tuesday

Tributes and condolences pour in online after the tragic death of a pair of young women, who were killed Tuesday night on the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

On Friday, funeral plans and visitation dates were released with obituaries

Jordyn Hastings and Olivia Smosarski were killed in a collision on the Red Hill Valley Parkway May 5. (Jordyn Hastings/Facebook)

Tributes and condolences are pouring in online after the tragic death of a pair of young women, who were killed Tuesday night on the Red Hill Valley Parkway.

The young friends were killed when their vehicle crossed the grassy median on the Red Hill Valley Parkway into oncoming traffic.

Olivia Smosarski, 19, and Jordyn Hastings, 20, were declared deceased at the scene.

On Friday, funeral plans and visitation dates were released with obituaries.

Visitations for Smosarski are on Sunday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bay Gardens Funeral Home (947 Rymal Road East). A funeral is planned for Monday at 10:30 a m. at Annunciation of our Lord Parish (280 Limeridge Rd. W).

For Hastings, visitations will be held Monday from 2 to 4, and 6 to 9 p.m. at the same Bay Gardens Funeral Home on Rymal Road East. Her funeral service will be at Bay Gardens at well on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Hamilton Police did not provide any update on the accident Thursday, leaving no answers as to why the teens' Mazda crossed onto the oncoming southbound lanes, colliding with a van at 11:30 p.m. The driver of the other vehicle walked away with minor injuries.

The pair appear together in Hastings' last profile photo on Facebook, which Smosarski commented, "Best friend till i die."

Hastings' obituary described her as "an avid and competitive swimmer, lifeguard and was committed to fitness and health. She was a lover and caregiver of all animals, big and small especially her precious Lily. So young but filled with so much love, talent, energy, happiness, compassion and kindness. Beautiful on the inside and out; her gentle heart, kind spirit, zest for life and crazy sense of humour was unmatched."

"I walked away from my van, which no longer had a front end or a windshield and called my love to let him know he still had a wife. I am so grateful to God for sparing my life, but beyond devastated that the other two people in the accident did not make it.- Sarah Van Hartingsveldt

Smosarski's obiturary reads, "Liv was passionate, tenacious, affectionate, spirited and fiercely loyal, with a smile that could light up a room. She was full of life and enthusiasm, always stood up for what she believed was right, and held an amazing capacity for caring, love and forgiveness. Our cherished "Livi Beans" will be forever missed."

Smosarski obituary also said that in lieu of flowers, donations to (in memory of her grandfathers) be made to Wellwood, a Mountain cancer treatment centre, or the World Wildlife Fund be made.

The driver of the vehicle which collided head on with the young women was Sarah Van Hartingsveldt. She wrote this to friends on her Facebook page about the fatal collision:

"There are some moments in life that forever change things. Last night around 11:30pm was one of those moments. I walked away from my van, which no longer had a front end or a windshield and called my love to let him know he still had a wife. I am so grateful to God for sparing my life, but beyond devastated that the other two people in the accident did not make it.

"If I could ask you for anything, it is that you please pray for the families who lost their loved ones. You never know what a second in life will bring."

Mourning on social media pours in

Their social media accounts have become something resembling a memorial, where comments and likes pile up as condolences.

On Thursday afternoon, there was nothing on the Red Hill to mark their passing except for a barely visible set of tire tracks that cross the grass and dirt median from the northbound lanes as the road itself slightly curves east approaching the King Street exit.

This was the scene shortly after the crash happened. (Tony Smyth/CBC)
At one of the teens' former high schools, St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, principal Susanna Fortino-Bozzo said prayers rang out over the school's PA system again this morning and that students were invited to sign a book of condolences destined for teens' families.

"For young people it's very difficult," Fortino-Bozzo said. "We've been really tending to the human side of it." She added that part of the advice included telling the students "it's okay to feel angry and confused. All those emotions are normal."

Hastings graduated STM in June 2013, while Smosarski graduated at the same time, but at Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School.

Fortino-Bozzo said she expects to hear funeral details from the family in the coming days, if not Friday.

Some comments online asked why a median is not in place on the Red Hill. The road itself is a municipal road with a speed limit of 90 km/h.

Bob Nichols, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO), said the decision to put medians "on any divided highway is primarily dependent on the width of the median and traffic volumes."

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