Days after the death of her son in a tragic car accident, Lisa Twiddy watched as teens walked in groups down West Coast Road to pay their respects at the site of the accident.
Twiddy, 39, lives a short three minutes away from where her 15-year-old son, Nicolas ‘Nic’ Twiddy, was killed in a tragic car crash in early April on the 7000-block of West Coast Road.
“The kids were walking all day and all night,” she said. “I could see how sad they were and they were crying and in tears.”
Concerned for the safety of Sooke’s teens trekking up and down the narrow road, and touched by the outpouring of grief, Twiddy decided to create a memorial where they could safely remember Nicolas.
“All the kids were included in the funeral, which gave them a place to grieve. I had them all come to the funeral in exchange for staying away from the road side crash.”
The funeral service on April 19 at Sands Funeral Chapels of Victoria saw over 200 people attend. A memorial bench was then placed at Hatley Gardens, which holds Nicolas’ ashes and mementos like baseball caps, locks of hair, and a sweater placed inside by friends.
“We’ll never know if it did or not, but I think, honestly, that it saved a life,” Twiddy said of the exchange.
The funeral cost and burial amounted to a bill of $18,000, and a total of $8,000 still remains unpaid.
In an effort to assist the family, the Sooke Family Resource Society have sponsored a fundraiser to help pay off the remaining costs of the funeral and burial services.
The Nicolas Twiddy Memorial Fundraiser will be held on July 7 at the CASA parking lot on 2145 Townsend Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I’m very grateful that they’re doing it,” Twiddy said, adding any remaining funds will be put towards youth programming in Sooke.
Although in grief, Twiddy smiled when she thought of the love and respect Sooke’s teens have shared on her son’s memorial Facebook page.
“The kids make me feel better,” she calmly stated. “I don’t know how, I think they love him too, because what they write is the same thing that I feel.
“He used to tell me he knew everybody in Sooke, and I used to laugh and tell him he didn’t, but now I honestly believe he did.”
The memorial fundraiser will have a variety of activities including the sale of raffle tickets for $2 each, a barbecue by donation, and sale of gently used items.
Prizes for the raffle includes items like a limousine ride and $50 gift certificate to the Mix by Ric’s in the Prestige Oceanfront Hotel.
Donations of lightly used items can be donated from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. the morning of the event in the CASA parking lot. Kendall Arnold, event co-ordinator can also be contacted to make a donation at: email@example.com
The Sooke Region Family Resources will also be donating all proceeds from the clothing exchange for the month of July to the memorial fund.
The fatal accident occurred on April 9 around 10 a.m., after the stolen vehicle Nicolas was riding in lost control on the gravel shoulder of West Coast Rd, ran into a telephone pole and flipped into a ditch. There were two other passengers, Steve Livingstone,18, and Maria Forbes, 15, who was air-lifted to hospital.
The driver of the car, David Chiasson, 18, is currently facing charges of dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, theft and possession of stolen property.