The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identities of two young women who died following a motor vehicle incident near Lions Bay on Nov. 23, 2013.
They were Olivia Sonja Robertson and Valentine Leborgne, both 19 years of age. They were travelling to Whistler with two other friends, both of whom were injured.
Leborgne is originally from Los Altos, California, USA, a town about 60 kilometres south of San Francisco. Robertson is originally from Collingwood, Ontario, a town about 150 kilometres north of Toronto. Both were residing in Vancouver while attending the University of British Columbia.
Robertson was the driver of, and Ms. Leborgne a passenger in, a northbound Jeep Cherokee that was involved in a collision with a full- sized pickup truck on the Sea to Sky Highway at Loggers Bay at about 7:25 a.m. on Nov. 23. Both were deceased at the scene.
A memorial gathering was held Monday at UBC.
The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries, said RCMP Insp. Tim Shields.
"This is a tragedy beyond words," Shields said at the scene.
The young women in the Cherokee were 19 and 20 years of age. Witnesses at the scene said a helicopter was used to transport at least one of the injured women.
"The hearts and prayers of the RCMP go out to the families of these four young women," said Shields.
The Cherokee had Washington State license plates that were covered over with paper as investigators took measurements and collected data at the crash scene. Photos from the scene show the truck suffered frontend damage while the driver’s side of the Cherokee was badly damaged.
"The temperature was around zero degrees Celsius and there was some frost, potentially icy conditions in certain areas," said Shields.
The crash happened at about 7:35 a.m. near Loggers Creek in an area five kilometres north of Lions Bay where there’s a single lane in each direction. The crash happened in one of the places on the highway where there is no concrete divider to prevent head-on collisions.
The highway re-opened at just after 5 p.m. with reports of heavy volume delays through the early part of the evening.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Pique will publish new details from the fatal crash on Thursday.
Moving between Whistler and Vancouver was impossible Saturday, Nov. 23 because of a crash just north of Lions Bay. Sgt. Wayne Pride of the Squamish RCMP reported the crash happened at about 7:35 a.m. The Squamish RCMP responded as did the West Vancouver City Police.
“At this time it can be reported that two people involved have been transported to hospital with serious injuries,” Pride said through a news release. “Unfortunately, two other occupants of a vehicle from the U.S.A. have been confirmed deceased.”
Pride noted a few hours after his first news release that the investigators at the scene couldn't say for certain that the two deceased were American visitors.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Drive BC has indicated the crash scene was five kilometres north of Lions Bay.
The accident occurred near Loggers Creek in one of the few places on the highway where there is only one traffic lane in each direction.
The highway was closed for almost 12 hours while the incident was investigated and the scene was cleaned up.