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Niagara region teen dies in a car crash in Ft. McMurray

The chair of the Niagara Catholic District School Board is sending his condolences to the family and communities of a young local teen killed in the evacuation of the devastating fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Denis Morris grad and his cousin die in crash trying to escape disastrous fire in Fort McMurray

A 19-year-old Niagara region teen and his 15-year-old cousin have died trying to escape the raging wildfires in Fort McMurray.

Aaron Hodgson, a 2014 graduate of Denis Morris Catholic High School and St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School, was driving an SUV with his cousin, Emily Ryan, as a passenger. Hodgson is the nephew of Ryan's stepmother.

The pair were among many travelling on Highway 881 Wednesday afternoon, attempting to evacuate the devastating Alberta fires, reported CBC News.

Just outside Lac La Biche their SUV collided with a tractor trailer, killing both, CBC reported. The crash ignited a massive fire, closing the highway. Plumes of smoke were seen from kilometres away.

"Our prayers go out to the family and to everyone out there. It's such a horrible thing," said Father Paul MacNeil to CBC Hamilton.

MacNeil is chair of the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Earlier in the week he issued a public prayer for the family and the school communities.

Unsure about what Hodgson was doing in Alberta, MacNeil said, "There is speculation he was just out there trying to offer a helping hand…it kind of breaks your heart."

"It makes it hit so close to home when somebody from our community has fallen so horribly," he went on to say.

"Our prayers go out to the whole community."

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