Student councillors Derek Flowers-Johnson (left) and Izabela Krahelskaya stand with Mayor James Baker. Flowers-Johnson served as a youth councillor during his last year of high school. Photo: District of Lake Country

Candlelight vigil to be held for Oyama teen who died in crash

Derek Flowers-Johnson died in a car accident Friday

A candlelight vigil will be held Tuesday for Derek Flowers-Johnson, the 18-year-old Oyama man who was killed in a car crash Friday morning.

The event will take place at Lake Country Alliance Church on Oceola Road to show support to the family of Flowers-Johnson.

“As a community, we will come together and light candles to remind us of the bright light he was in Lake Country. We will be collecting donations of freezer meals and baked goods, as well as financial donations that will go directly to his family,” reads the Facebook post from Kendra Weisbrodt.

“Tim Horton’s coffee will be served and there will be opportunity to leave well wishes to his family. We will have a bonfire going outside and sitting room inside. We will light our candles at 6:45 p.m. This is open to anyone who would like to come and support the Flowers Johnson family.”

The fatal crash happened just before 6:30 a.m. Friday on Highway 97 North near the University of British Columbia overpass.

When police arrived, they found a single vehicle had collided with a semi-trailer commercial vehicle.

Flowers-Johnson was an active member of the community, sitting on Lake Country’s council as a student councillor in his final year of high school at George Elliot Secondary in 2017.

He was also a member of the youth firefighting program, and was attending Okanagan College, said Lake Country Mayor James Baker.

“He never said much (while sitting on council) but he was quite animated (afterwards). He got about six scholarships and bursaries and things. He did trades training, I saw him last fall,” he said.

“I happened to be going down the corridor in the trades building when the classes ended and I talked to him. He was so excited, he was really enjoying college and doing good stuff.

“He seemed so shy at the table but he was really animated and said how great it was and thanked us for the bursaries because he got the municipal bursary as well.”

Baker said district staff have children that were friends with him as well.

“It was really a big loss and a big loss to the community as well.”

RELATED: Kelowna teen dies in Highway 97 crash

Tara Shoemaker, an admin on a popular Lake Country Facebook page, is organizing a food train for the local family at the request of another community member, she said in a post on Facebook.

With 10 family members and more coming to the Johnson’s house, Shoemaker decided that a food train, where different members of the community each pitch in to make a meal for the family, would be the best option.

The post gathered more than 100 likes and more than 90 comments as of Saturday afternoon, offering support.

To contribute to the train, visit https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/n7mddd?fbclid=IwAR3HWE4JkVyo1nrB9bC_Y9g3241DeIhNT8B_szoI2nvfvZ82Io7zMDk0ESI.

“The last thing anyone wants to do is grocery shop or make meals, so if I and the whole community can pitch in and make meals, if we can take that off of their plates, that would be great.”

People can pick a date, announce what meals will be made and can be dropped off at 1859 Klondike Crt.

Bayley Hurdle, who started a GoFundMe for the family Saturday morning, grew up with the family and is feeling a personal loss.

“That whole family is such a close family. Derek was such an amazing guy, he was in welding school, I saw him every day at the college.”

“He was always the jokester in the group.”

The GoFundMe can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/gofundme-for-derek-johnson. Hurdle set out to raise $5,000 and by the end of the weekend that goal had been tripled.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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