West Kelowna teens reeling from death

Friends of the two young Okanagan teens killed in a one-vehicle crash have erected a memorial at the site of the accident. Here, Mike Baxter is memorialized.  - Kathy Michaels/Staff Reporter
Friends of the two young Okanagan teens killed in a one-vehicle crash have erected a memorial at the site of the accident. Here, Mike Baxter is memorialized.
— image credit: Kathy Michaels/Staff Reporter

A group of West Kelowna friends are reeling from latest in a series of fatal blows dealt to their loved ones in just a few years.

Peachland's Mike Baxter, 20, as well as West Kelowna's Delanie Smith, 17, died at the scene of a single vehicle crash on the backroads of Peachland Thursday night. Another Peachland man, 19, and West Kelowna girl, 16, suffered serious, potentially life-threatening injuries.

At least three were students of Mt. Boucherie, past and present.

Friends and family of the deceased gathered at the site of the crash throughout Friday to pay homage to their loved ones, and placed flowers and pictures with notes that expressed their sense of loss.

Many are also drawing parallels to another loss they've recently suffered.

Baxter, who's being remembered on his Facebook page as a young man who was "full of life," was  also a close friend of slain teen Ashlee Hyatt, and it's believe he was to be a potential witness at her alleged killer's trial, next week.

Their tie is one some of their shared friends seem to be finding solace in in the aftermath of the crash.

"Rest in peace Mike, taken too soon just like your beautiful angel Ashlee," read one, of many, tributes to the pair. " I hope the two of you rest easy in heaven together."

Police  are investigating the cause of a single-vehicle rollover, although an  initial scene assessment shows that road condition appears to have been a factor. One theory is that cattle may have been in the road, and  Baxter swerved to miss them.

Emergency crews responded to a single vehicle collision on the 5500 block of Princeton Avenue in Peachland, Oct. 18 at 10:53 p.m.

A Chevrolet pickup truck had been travelling northbound on Princeton Avenue when the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled several times.

They were both rushed to the Kelowna General Hospital by BC Ambulance Service personnel. As of last night, the two remained in serious to critical condition with no update on their status currently being available.



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