A 17-year-old boy from Lorette, Man., has died after the car he was in rolled into a ditch on Highway 207 just east of the community early Sunday morning.
“We couldn’t believe it, thought it was a bad nightmare,” Michelle Sauve, manager of the Co-op in Lorette, said of the death of her former employee, Colin Roer.
Steinbach RCMP say they were called to the highway, just east of Municipal Road 31, just after 4:30 a.m. and found the car rolled into the ditch on the highway’s north side.
The teen, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. It appears that he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time, RCMP said in a news release Monday.
Another 17-year-old boy from Lorette who was driving the vehicle was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the release said.
It appears the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the rollover, while the driver was, police said. Alcohol is believed to be a factor, they added.
Sauve said as an employee, Roer had a great work ethic.
“You mentor these guys and they are kind of like your kids,” Sauve said. “They grow on you, you get to know their quirks and challenges. Some of us have kids of our own and it’s kind of an extension.”
Sauve said news of Roer’s death spread through Lorette quickly.
“It’s a small community. You’re in shock,” she said. “We didn’t realize it was true until one of our employees came in crying … I went and spoke with his dad and it’s beyond words. It’s a tragedy.”
The crash was about eight kilometres east of Lorette, a small community 25 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg.
A 19-year-old woman died five kilometres west of Cut Knife, Sask., in a single vehicle rollover on Monday night.
The girl, from Altona, Manitoba, was pronounced dead at the scene on Highway 40.
An 18-year-old man, also from Altona, was driving the vehicle. He was taken to the hospital and the extent of his injuries are unknown. The RCMP did not have an update on his condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
The highway was shut down for hours after the crash.
Cut Knife RCMP continue to investigate alongside the RCMP Collision Reconstructionist department.
No charges have been laid and names have not been released.
Cut Knife is about 190 kilometres west of Saskatoon.
Altona is about 1,000 kilometres southeast of Cut Knife.