Barrie crash leaves six dead in ‘absolutely devastating loss’

Six people are dead as a result of a single-vehicle crash in Barrie early Sunday morning.

Officers located the crash in the area of ​​McKay Road and County Road 27 at about 2 am

According to Barrie police, it’s believed the occupants were six individuals who were reported missing earlier Saturday evening.

Police did not immediately confirm the identities of the victims, but one has been confirmed as 22-year-old Luke West, whom Jim Lowe coached on the Barrie Bombers lacrosse team for more than a decade. Lowe called him one of his favorite players of him.

“I’ve coached thousands of kids over the past 25 years and If I had to name the kids who meant the most to me… he would be on a very short list,” Lowe said Sunday, after speaking to West’s family. “He made you care about him because he just had this passion and fire in front of him.”

“It’s an absolutely devastating loss of a good human being. He was trying to make the world better, he was giving back,” an emotional Lowe said.

Lowe said West had a deep passion for the game and was one of the smartest players he ever coached.

“He was a tremendous young man, he was a leader on the floor,” Lowe said. “More importantly, he was the ultimate teammate. He would go through a wall for his teammates. He is not a big guy, but he was tough as nails.

Lowe added that West carried the same passion he had as a player to coaching.

‘He was someone who was becoming a really amazing coach and giving back to the game and being a leader for a bunch of young people,’ Lowe said. “There aren’t many 22-year-olds who would give up their entire summer to coach a bunch of 15 and 16-year-olds.”

West advanced to six provincial championship games during his lacrosse career — including five as a player and one as a coach — winning two.

The Barrie Police Traffic Unit is currently on scene investigating along with officers from the Investigative Services division.

Major Jeff Lehman called it a “shocking and horrible tragedy.”

“As a parent myself this is the worst nightmare,” he wrote in social media posts on Sunday. “The six families in our city who are devastated this morning need all our compassion and support.”

Premier Doug Ford also weighed in on Twitter, stating “On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of these six young individuals. We are holding you all in our hearts during this time of unspeakable pain.”

The crash had not been reported to police when officers came across the scene, said police spokesperson Jennett Mays.

Anyone who has any information related to this incident is asked to contact Barrie police.

“The Barrie Police Service offers sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those involved,” the release said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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