Skip to content

UPDATE: Fundraiser set up for mother of Grade 12 student who died in highway crash near Shawnigan Lake

Kieran Harper died on Feb. 29

A Grade 12 student from Frances Kelsey Secondary has died following a crash on his way to school Thursday, Feb. 29.

Kieran Harper died as a result of a two-vehicle collision that occurred about 9:15 a.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway near Butterfield Road.

“Initial evidence gathered at the scene indicated that a white Volvo made a left turn from Butterfield Road and was struck by a black truck which was travelling southbound on the Trans-Canada Highway,” said Island District RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Alex Bérubé. “The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries. Sadly, the 17-year-old driver of the white Volvo did not survive the collision.”

The officer went on to say that drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash.

A large section of highway was closed while a collision analyst completed their investigation. The road was re-opened to traffic at 1 p.m.

Staff at the secondary school, located on Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road, sent an email to parents the afternoon of Feb. 29 informing them of the tragedy and that support services would be made available to students at the school.

The student parking lot at the school was still full after classes ended Thursday afternoon as many senior students opted to be picked up or driven home by staff.

Cowichan Valley School District spokesperson Mike Russell confirmed that a special critical incident response, team made up of support personnel throughout the school district, has been mobilized and dispatched.

“The number one thing we focus on automatically is getting supports in there for our students,” Russell explained, adding that the district team then helps the staff at the school in communications and making sure parents and school and staff are informed of what’s going on and the resources available.

“We also focus on taking care of our own staff and making sure they can be looked after while they are looking after our students.”

In the coming days, the school will receive additional counselling and administrative support while the staff and students take the time they need to grieve and work through the tragedy together.

Eventually the administrative support will scale back but the counsellors will remain available to those students who need it.

“The district’s heart certainly goes out to the family and friends of the student,” Russell said. “It’s a tragedy nobody wants to be a part of and we’re working our best to make sure our students and staff are being supported through it.”

A fundraiser has been set up for Harper’s mother, Carrie-Ann.

“His mom, Carrie-Ann is going through something no parent should ever have to endure,” said organizer Debbie Wright-Tousaw.

“Carrie-Ann has been an active parent volunteer at the school, starting with Bench and continuing through Kelsey, where Kieran was set to graduate in June. She is one of the hardest working moms we know. We want her to be able to navigate through this chapter of her life without worrying about the financial strain that she will face while grieving the loss of her only child.”

The fundraiser can be found at

The circumstances around the collision remain under investigation and witnesses and those with information are asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP at 250-743-1549.

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
Read more