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Families, friends visit crash site where 6 young lives were lost

Loved ones arrived at scene throughout the morning and afternoon to lay flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the construction gates

Friends and family members visited the crash site on Monday where six young lives were cut short following a horrific weekend car crash in a construction area in south-end Barrie. 

McKay Road, which leads to the scene, was opened slightly on Monday as loved ones paid respects to those who had died. All of the victims — four men and two women — were in their early 20s. 

A Barrie police officer was positioned outside the gated-off area that blocks entry into the construction zone where the deadly crash is believed to have happened, in the area of McKay Road and County Road 27.

City of Barrie CAO Michael Prowse said on Sunday evening that the area where the crash occurred is the site of a city construction project and the intersection had been closed since the spring.

At approximately 11 a.m., Monday, the family of one victim arrived and walked toward the gate. The mother sobbed and let out a heartbreaking scream as the police officer consoled another member of the family.

Family and friends had been coming to the scene throughout the morning and afternoon to lay flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the construction gates.

A wooden structure was pulled out of the grass next to the road by police as a way to hold the many flowers expected over the hours and days to come.

Two young women who brought bouquets to scene said they were friends of one of the female victims, but did also know some of the others involved.

"I knew most of them and met two of them that night when we saw them downtown," said a woman who identified herself as Kailey. "They were a great group of people."

The memorial site is located on McKay Road for anyone wanting to pay their respects. The flags at Barrie City Hall have also been lowered to half-mast.

Barrie police said they had no updates on the investigation Monday. Police did not respond to questions from BarrieToday about the status of the investigation.

A news release from city police was issued shortly after 12:30 p.m., Monday, which said the ongoing investigation that will take time to complete.

"If and when any updates are available, they will be shared with the public via media release," stated Barrie police. "At this point, there are no further updates and no additional information to be released."

At approximately 12:30 p.m., police at the crash scene moved people back down the road, away from the construction zone and barricades, saying that a drone was coming in to survey the scene and they wanted the area cleared.

Police have not confirmed the identities of the deceased, but have said the victims are believed to be the six people who were reported missing on the weekend, beginning with a post about three men shortly before 9 p.m., Saturday. Police later posted on social media about the others who were missing. 

It remains unclear when the tragic crash occurred or what led to it, but the scene was discovered by an on-duty police officer around 2 a.m., Sunday.

The victims have been identified publicly as Luke West, Jersey Mitchell, Haley Marin, Curtis King, Jason O'Connor, and River Wells, which were also the names of the missing people released by city police over the weekend. The social-media posts were later removed by police, which has indicated it would not be confirming the names of the victims. 

A community support fund for the victims' families, which has been shared by Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, has also been set up on GoFundMe. Click here for information on how to donate.