'It affects all of us': Small towns reeling after 4 killed in crash

On the side of the highway near Robert's Arm, debris still lines the shoulder at the scene of a two-vehicle crash that killed four people — two teenage girls, their grandfather, and another man driving the second vehicle.

The crash Sunday afternoon also left the teen's grandmother in critical condition.

Cyril Winsor, 67, and his wife were driving their granddaughters, Kaleigh Marie Madore, 14, and Kathleen Elaine Madore, 16, from their home in Triton back to Middle Arm that day.

Jerry Weir of Little Bay Islands was killed in the other vehicle.

"The mood is pretty sombre here today. Since we got the news Sunday evening it's been pretty much like a shadow over this town," said Morris Chipp, deputy mayor of Middle Arm. 

Chipp said the two teenagers were heavily involved in the community, whether it was in recreation, at school or the church. He said that both girls had very close friends in Middle Arm, and now it feels like a part of the community is missing.

He figures there are only about 50 school-aged children living in Middle Arm right now, a town where he spent 27 years as an educator.

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"I can't even imagine what it's like to be in that school today.… The staff and the students that are in the school are a close-knit community. You know everybody. You're all like family," he said.

"The young people are going to need a lot of support."

Chipp said the community itself is coming together to stand behind and support the family, and added the town will be there to help with anything they may need.  

'It affects us all'

Pete Winsor works with a couple of the men who were related to some of the victims in the crash at Green Bay Marine Service Centre in Triton.

"From anybody's perspective, if you get four or five fatalities, it sort of hits home in a small town," Winsor said.

"I think the news just spreads island-wide, across Labrador," he said. "Everybody is affected by it."

Winsor said he reached out to his co-workers on Monday, adding that they seem to be holding strong.

Garrett Barry/CBC

"There's still a bit of light there at the end of it — there is somebody that's still alive. You hope for the best," he said.

Triton is a small, tight-knit community, with just around 1,000 people, Winsor said, so everyone was waiting anxiously for word on what exactly happened on Sunday.

"Certainly everybody knows who's who and things like that, but yes it was a devastating bit of news yesterday," he told CBC's Here & Now on Monday.

"It affects all of us."

Sherry Vivian/CBC

Winsor said it's a story that will hit home for a lot of people not just across the province, but in small communities everywhere.

RCMP are still conducting their investigation into the cause of the crash, but said as of Monday, there was no indication there were any witnesses in the area at the time.

Police say everyone was wearing a seatbelt, and they don't think weather played a role in the crash.

The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District had counselling services at MSB Academy in Middle Arm for classmates of the two girls killed; counselling and debriefing sessions were held Monday night in Robert's Arm for emergency responders who were called to the scene.

Chipp said the tragedy is something that some people will likely never fully recover from.

"It's something you learn to live with and you move on. It becomes a memory that you won't cherish," he said.

"You learn to deal with the situation and move on. But, it's going to be a while."

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