A 13-year-old girl killed in a boat crash on a lake in Muskoka Wednesday is being remembered as a joyful and gentle teen.
A vigil was held Thursday evening at Blessed Sacrament Catholic School to mourn the girl identified by church leaders as Quinn Cammaert.
“The silence was overwhelming. It was very difficult as a pastor to go over there knowing these students, but the good news was we prayed together as a community,” Father Larry Marcille, the pastor of the Blessed Sacrament Parish, told CTV News Toronto Friday.
Cammaert was one of the two people who died after two boats collided on Lake Rosseau on the evening of July 14.
Police said witnesses reported seeing people in the water following the collision. When rescue crews arrived, they located five of the six people who were on board the two vessels. Cammaert was pronounced dead at the scene.
Four others were taken to hospital, including one person airlifted to a Toronto trauma centre in critical condition. A search commenced for the missing sixth victim, a 51-year-old Oakville woman. On Thursday afternoon, rescue crews recovered her body.
At the vigil, dozens of people from the church and school came together to remember Cammaert. The school principal read Cammaert’s valedictorian speech.
“When he read, and I know he was very much choked up when he read the word of her speech. That took a lot of people to crying and grieving,” Marcille said.
In the speech, Cammaert, who recently graduated Grade 8, wrote about how this summer was going to be the best and how much she was looking forward to high school.
“We are never prepared for the death of a child. This is only the second time. Never before did I have to bury a child,” the pastor said.
Joanna Manturowicz, the parish’s youth director said she’s known the 13-year-old girl for three years through ministry programs.
She described Cammaert as a compassionate, soft, and joyful girl.
“She was a little bit on the quieter side. She was very gentle,” Joanna Manturowicz said.
The church said they are also praying for the 13-year-old girl’s mother, who was the critically injured person transported to Sunnybrook Hospital, where she remains.
“This news has been devastating for all of us, and our hearts go out to the student’s family as they deal with this tremendous loss,” the Toronto Catholic District School Board said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the support of the local parish, staff, and the team of social workers and grief counsellors who have been available to support the school community during this difficult time.”
The board said a mass is planned for the student in September.
The cause of the crash remains unknown.
Police are appealing for information and urging anyone who has surveillance footage to contact them at 1-888-310-1122.
– With files from CTV Toronto’s Beth Macdonell