The community of West Prince continues to grieve after another 17-year-old died over the weekend.
Cole Rayner was killed in a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning in Huntley, P.E.I. That's less than 10 kilometres from where Ethan Reilly and Alex Hutchinson, both 17, died when their boat capsized on Sept. 16.
All three boys had attended Westisle Composite High School, located in Elmsdale. Classes were cancelled at the school Monday and won't resume until Friday.
Kim Reilly, Ethan's mother, said she has received overwhelming support from the community — and now she is the one offering condolences.
"We are being hit hard, and for that Grade 12 class to have three Westisle students, three graduates who have lost their life — it is going to be an ongoing battle the remainder of the year and a lifetime for the loss of those kids," she said.
"It's unfortunate that three young 17-year-old boys have lost their lives. It's too early."
Memorials being held
The Public Schools Branch said the school would remain open Monday and buses would run as normal for students wishing to gather with friends. Counselling services are available.
A memorial was being held at the O'Leary Community Sports Centre Monday night for Ethan Reilly. Another will be held Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for Alex Hutchinson.
A private family visitation for Cole Rayner will be held Wednesday evening at the Rooney Funeral Home and Chapel in Alberton. A private funeral for family and invited guests will be held Thursday morning from the Greenmount Church of Christ.
A table has been set up outside the sports centre where people have been writing condolences and leaving gifts.
'They had goals in life'
Faye MacWilliams, who lives near the Hutchinson family, said the community is grieving not just for the three boys, but also for Max MacIsaac, who was on the boat with that capsized but was able to make it to shore.
"Everybody is in mourning," she said "These young men, they had aspirations, they had goals in life, they knew what they wanted to do. This was a big year, their graduation year. And we're all feeling for Max, too, because he's the one that is left and his buddies are no longer with us."
Donations in Alex's memory can be made to the O'Leary Community Sports Centre, where he loved to play hockey.
Donations in Ethan's memory can be made to an education fund set up for his girlfriend, Megan Kinch.
"If there's one thing Ethan wanted, it was for me to look after Megan, and that's exactly what I intend to do," Kim Reilly said. "She was the love of his life."
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