It’s the kind of news that shakes a small town and prompts parents to hug their kids and teens a bit tighter.
A 16-year-old boy – a pedestrian – was hit and killed by a semi-truck Tuesday night on the highway near Grenfell.
An online fundraising campaign identified the teen as Jonathan Coutere.
Debra Coderre started the campaign as a way to support Coutere’s mother and the twin sister he leaves behind.
“I just wanted to take something off their plates and people were reaching out and wanted to help. The community was wanting to help,” she said.
Coderre’s son went to school with Coutere.
She describes the teen as a quiet boy who stuck to a close group of friends, who loved basketball, football and playing video games.
“When him and my son hung out, lots of times they hung out via video chat because Jonny liked to play video games,” she said.
“My son said that they’d just been chatting the night before, probably via some social media or whatever, about NFL football because that was something they both loved.”
The news of Coutere’s death has shaken the community of Grenfell, located around 130 kilometres east of Regina.
“Everybody’s in shock and just feeling heartbroken for the family,” Coderre explained.
“Something of this magnitude, when you lose someone that’s 16-years-old from your community, I mean, it hits everybody hard.”
As for the boy’s family, Coderre said they are “overwhelmed” by the love and support they’ve received.
“They’re doing okay, as good as can be expected, I guess.”
Police are still investigating the crash that killed Coutere, but as of Jan. 4 were not anticipating any charges.