Lake Country rallies to support local family after death of former youth councillor

Derek Flowers-Johnson died in a car accident Friday

In the wake of tragedy, a fundraiser for a mourning family has tripled in one day.

The GoFundMe page, organized by Bayley Hurdle who grew up with Oyama’s Derek Flowers-Johnson, 18, whom was killed in a car crash Friday morning.

“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,” said Hurdle.

The initial goal to raise $5,000 and thanks to 199 people, $15,470 has been raised for the family as they mourn.

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 a member of the youth firefighting program, and was attending Okanagan College, said 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 has organized a food train for the family. 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.

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

The GoFundMe can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/gofundme-for-derek-johnson.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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