Drummers beat a regular cadence as Skeena Middle School student Landon Tugwell’s funeral procession drove past the school Oct. 19 as hundreds gathered outside. Tugwell was killed in an automobile accident Oct. 9. (Staff photo)

Drummers beat a regular cadence as Skeena Middle School student Landon Tugwell’s funeral procession drove past the school Oct. 19 as hundreds gathered outside. Tugwell was killed in an automobile accident Oct. 9. (Staff photo)

Hundreds gather outside school to honour student killed in traffic accident

Lengthy funeral procession drove slowly past Skeena Middle School

Hundreds of Skeena Middle School students and teachers and staffers lined up outside the school down Walsh Ave. toward Kenney St. yesterday afternoon paying tribute to fellow student Landon Tugwell as his funeral procession drove slowly past.

Tugwell, 14, was killed in a traffic accident in the Nass Valley the afternoon of Thanksgiving Sunday, Oct. 9.

The procession of more than 20 vehicles, whose four-way lights were flashing, had minutes before left a funeral service attended by family members, friends and others.

As the procession approached Skeena, a cadre of drummers began a steady beat.

And as the vehicles drove past those assembled on the sidewalk, students displayed paper hearts of varying colours and sizes. One group of students stood in a row, each holding same-size red hearts.

Others in the long line stretching down Walsh Ave. placed their hands over their own hearts or held out their arms in an open gesture. Several people held posters of messages and displaying Tugwell’s photo.

The gathering, one of the largest public ones of its kind in the city in recent years, ended with the drummers sounding a traditional rapid beat.

The funeral procession continued into the Nass Valley.

Tugwell succumbed to his injuries in what RCMP have reported as an accident on Hwy 113 leading toward Gingolx in the Nass Valley in the early afternoon of Oct. 9.

A smaller car failed to negotiate a curve, striking a pickup truck head-on.

Those injured were taken to medical clinics in Laxgalts’ap (Greenville) and Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh).

Two people were then transported to hospital by the provincial ambulance service.

The investigation of the accident is now underway through the RCMP’s BC Highway Patrol because the collision occurred on a provincial highway.

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