Memo­rial un­veiled for Han­nah Thorne

Fam­ily and friends honour 18-year-old with a mes­sage to oth­ers

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It’s a sign that’s im­pos­si­ble to miss along the New Har­bour Barrens Road.

A photo of a beau­ti­ful, smil­ing girl — Han­nah Thorne — graces the large sign.

Be­neath the bill­board, there’s a pink and pur­ple bench and a flowerbed.

The ashes of the smil­ing girl will be scat­tered here.

On Fri­day, July 7, ex­actly one year ago from that day that 18-year-old Han­nah was killed in an ac­ci­dent at this very spot, her fam­ily and friends gath­ered to cel­e­brate her life, and un­veil the memo­rial with an im­por­tant mes­sage.

The large sign reads STAND for Han­nah.

The acro­nym STAND means “Stand­ing To­gether Against Neg­li­gent Driv­ing.

Han­nah was killed when the car she was rid­ing in with her grand­mother was in­volved in head-on col­li­sion.

Two Bay Roberts men were al­legedly street rac­ing and charged with crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing death. They go to trial in Oc­to­ber.

About 100 peo­ple gath­ered Fri­day af­ter­noon, at the crash site, to re­mem­ber Han­nah through prayers and songs. The sounds of her own ukulele ac­com­pa­nied their voices.

At ap­prox­i­mately 5:28, the large group gath­ered to­gether for a mo­ment of si­lence, fol­lowed by a prayer. The tim­ing was cho­sen to re­flect the time of 2016 ac­ci­dent.

Dwayne Legge is a rel­a­tive of the Thorne fam­ily and a mem­ber of the STAND for Han­nah foun­da­tion, cre­ated af­ter her death.

He told The Com­pass the memo­rial serves as not only a way to re­mem­ber Han­nah, but also as a word of cau­tion to driv­ers.

“It’s put there to honour Han­nah, but we also want to send out a mes­sage,” said Legge.

“Think be­fore you get be­hind the wheel, be­cause ev­ery sin­gle de­ci­sion has con­se­quences. Think about what you’re do­ing, and whether or not it’s safe. If some­thing hap­pens, it might not just be your life and your fam­ily’s life that’s af­fected. Other peo­ple could also be hurt, and it can and will change peo­ple’s lives for­ever.”

The foun­da­tion is also work­ing closely with gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials on is­sues such as the safety of roads in the prov­ince.

Legge added that al­though the STAND for Han­nah foun­da­tion has only been ac­tive for un­der a year, it’s al­ready made some sig­nif­i­cant progress, and is work­ing harder as time goes on.

“Right now, we’re work­ing on get­ting a video to­gether,” Legge said. “We want the video to show­case the long-term ef­fects of reck­less and care­less driv­ing.

“Hope­fully, we’ll be able to share that video around to schools, driv­ing schools . . . in or­der to help spread that mes­sage as best we can.”

While the STAND for Han­nah foun­da­tion works to­ward other goals, Legge hopes the memo­rial helps fam­ily and friends re­mem­ber Han­nah, and serve as a stark re­minder of the dan­ger of reck­less driv­ing.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

The new memo­rial in mem­ory of Han­nah Thorne was un­veiled Fri­day af­ter­noon by Thorne’s im­me­di­ate fam­ily.

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