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Beach service remembers young women killed in Vernon crash

The family of Kayla Cartwright has a private moment during the beach memorial.
July 15, 2015 - 11:30 AM

OKANAGAN - Friends and family flooded a local beach in memory of the two young Kelowna women killed Saturday night in Vernon.

Kayla Cartwright, 26 and Chantal Bazin, 22, died July 11 when the car they were driving crossed the centre line on Highway 97 in Vernon and hit an oncoming vehicle.

But Jeff Cartwright, Kayla’s father, said the details of the accident weren’t important to him.

“It doesn’t matter now. I only have one daughter, she was my sweetie,” Cartwright said, surrounded by dozens of friends and family on Kelowna’s Mushroom Beach.

“Chantal, her friend, they were both called princesses, they were such sweet girls.”

More than 200 people, sobbing girls and stoic young men, gathered for the memorial where mourners released dozens of balloons with poems and messages written on them.

Cartwright said he knew many of the young men and women who lined up to sign the memory cards at a table set up on the beach.

“This is a happy time for them now, with all of their friends. The girls knew each a long time; they all grew up together.”

The memorial filled up the Lake Avenue beach access and attracted the attention of Kelowna RCMP, which responded with two officers to warn the youthful crowd about open liquor, drugs and the cigarette ban on local beaches.

Cartwright said the large crowd of well-wishers made him and the families of the two girls feel much better.

“Its called family support and I’m so glad we have it. We’ve got lots and Chantal has lots of family support. That’s what matters right now."

Vernon RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service continue to investigate the accident.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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