'Heaven has gained an angel': Tributes pour in for 18-year-old victim of Hwy 97 crash

Iain Burns | February 9, 2019 in Kelowna

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Friends and family are mourning the loss of the 18-year-old man killed in a crash on Hwy 97 on Friday.

Derek Flowers-Johnson’s car hit a semi-trailer truck near UBC Okanagan at about 6.30 a.m.

He was described as “humble, driven, determined and inspiring” by Rider Ventures Wildfire and Flood Protection.

“We will miss Derek’s ability to make us laugh, big smile and even bigger heart,” they added.

“His passing will deeply affect us all. We offer support, comfort and deepest condolences to his family. We are proud to call Derek one of our own and he will never be forgotten.

“You worked hard to earn your feathers, and now you have your wings.”

Friend of the family Bayley Hurdle, meanwhile, has started a GoFundMe page to help Derek’s family.

She said “heaven has gained an angel” after the teenager’s tragic death.

“I wanted to start a GoFundMe page for the family, as they own and run the O'Keefe Ranch Kitchen in Vernon and from this sudden heartbreaking news of losing a member of their family they may need time off to heal and be with each other,” she explained.

Derek was a Lake Country youth councillor and was studying at Okanagan College.

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