Residents of the Miramichi area are coming to terms with the loss of four teenagers in a car crash Saturday night.
Logan Matchett, 17, and Avery Astle, 16, of Strathadam, Emma Connick, 18, of Barnaby and Cassie Lloyd, 17, of Escuminac died after the car they were driving in left Nelson Street and landed upside down in water.
Grief counsellors were on hand Monday at the schools the teens attended, North and South Esk Regional High School in Sunny Corner, and Miramichi's James M. Hill Memorial High School.
Meredith Caissie, a spokesperson for Anglophone School District North, called the tragedy "unspeakable."
"People are just dealing with it the best way they can," she said.
"People are supporting one another and they will get through it. But it's just so incredibly heartbreaking."
Principals remember pupils
As students and staff mourn the four young people, the principals of their schools are shedding light on the kind of people they were.
Heidi Ryder, principal of James M. Hill Memorial High School, where Connick and Lloyd attended school, called them "leaders within our … community."
"Cassie excelled academically and had fielded multiple university scholarship offers [and] was a key player of the volleyball team, both on and off the court," said Ryder.
"Emma was committed to making a difference for children in Uganda through her Passion Project, WRED (World Reality Education) and involved in Rotary Interact."
David Cripps, the principal of North and South Esk Regional High School, where Matchett and Astle attended, said the students "contributed to the school community through athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership."
"Always smiling, Logan was extremely outgoing and friendly ... was quick to start a conversation and willing to help whenever asked," said Cripps.
"Avery was a fantastic kid who was so kind to his peers and teachers. Easygoing and friendly, he was quick to get involved and help out whenever he could."
A makeshift memorial has been established on the side of Nelson Street, where the teens' car crashed.
Stella Watt said she was devastated when she heard about the accident, as she knows the father of one of the teens.
She brought a stuffed animal to add to the growing memorial.
"It's an awful thing," said Watt.
"They were so young."
Margie Goodin, who also visited the site, said she was heartbroken when she heard about the accident.
"I just wanted to stop, and feel and say a little prayer for the families," said Goodin.
So far funeral arrangements have only been announced for Connick, whose funeral will be held at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Nelson on April 26.