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Former Collingwood School athlete among six killed in Ontario crash

Jason Ono-O'Connor was known as a talented athlete during his high school years in West Vancouver. He was killed in a tragic vehicle accident in Barrie, Ont., where he was attending college.
Jason Ono-O-Connor
Jason Ono-O'Connor, 23, a former North Shore athlete, was among six young people killed in a tragic crash in Barrie, Ontario.

Family and friends are mourning a young college student who graduated from Collingwood School in West Vancouver and grew up as a celebrated athlete on the North Shore.

Jason Ono-O’Connor, 23, was one of six young adults killed in horrific vehicle crash in Barrie, Ontario early Saturday morning that shocked the community there and left friends searching for answers.

Ono-O’Connor’s parents announced their son’s death on social media, saying Ono-O’Connor was among six young adults who died together in a single-vehicle accident.

Barrie police are still piecing together many details of the crash, which reportedly happened in the early hours of Aug. 27. A vehicle, which the young people were travelling in, is believed to have plummeted into a large deep hole at a construction site, and then caught fire, according to media reports.

Barrie police said Wednesday they did not have an update on the investigation.

City of Barrie manager Michael Prowse released a statement after the crash confirming the area where the vehicle was found is the site of a city construction project and the road has been closed since the spring.

Ono-O’Connor grew up playing hockey with both North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association and the Hollyburn Country Club on the North Shore, often as team captain, his parents wrote in a notice about their son’s death.

As a teen growing up in North Vancouver, he also had a keen interest in water sports, which led to his qualification as a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the West Vancouver Community Centre.

Ono-O'Connor also took part in a rugby tour of Australia with the Collingwood School junior rugby team, his family noted.

Ono-O’Connor had been looking forward to his fourth year of studies at the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College, and had planned to earn a degree in business administration, the family wrote.

Georgian College president Kevin Weaver described Ono-O'Connor as an "exceptional student" who was consistently on the Dean's List and was "liked and respected by fellow students and faculty. The Georgian College flag has been lowered at the Barrie campus in his memory, wrote Weaver in a statement.

“We are very proud of the remarkable young man our son had become and we will miss him dearly,” wrote Ono-O'Connor's family, adding a celebration of life is being planned.

The family asked that community members consider donating to the North Shore’s Harvest Project in his honour.

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