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"VOA" 2006 Obituary


VOAKES 2006-04-12 published
Teenager remembered as friendly, full of fun
Cassandra HARDWICK was fatally injured while using a crosswalk on her way to school.
By Peter GEIGEN- MILLER, Free Press Reporter, Wed., April 12, Grieving Friends and classmates remember Cassandra HARDWICK as outgoing, friendly and full of fun.
The Grade 12 student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier secondary school was fatally injured Monday morning while using a Southdale Road crosswalk a block from the school.
It's the latest in a spate of pedestrian accidents that have killed seven people on London streets in 2004 and 2005 and injured many more.
Yesterday, shocked classmates responded to HARDWICK's death by creating a memorial at the accident site.
The roadside tribute features flowers, photos and a large poster filled with hand-written messages and memories of HARDWICK, 17.
The popular student, voted funniest at Laurier this year, laughed a lot and made others laugh, classmates remembered yesterday.
"She was the queen of funny faces," said Grade 12 classmate Katie ELDRIDGE. "If you had a bad day, you could talk to her and she'd cheer you up."
Jessie FOSTER, also in Grade 12, said HARDWICK always made her smile.
"If you didn't know her, you missed out on something," FOSTER said.
Laurier principal Frank GALIZIA spoke about HARDWICK before her name was officially released, describing her as "a lovely young lady, just a good person."
He said the young woman was a good student and well thought of by staff and students alike.
GALIZIA said guidance counsellors and the Thames Valley District school board's traumatic events response team have been at the school to provide support for any staff and students who need it.
GALIZIA said the student body has responded to the death with compassion, supporting each other in their grief.
The accident occurred at a crosswalk on Southdale west of Millbank Drive, where the school is located.
The crosswalk is controlled by buttons that are pushed to turn traffic lights on Southdale red and give pedestrians a walk signal.
Police are investigating the role of the crosswalk in the accident.
Area resident Wilfrid VOAKES said he'd like to see more protection for pedestrians crossing heavily travelled Southdale Road.
He would like to see school zone warning signs and reduced speeds on Southdale Road near the crosswalk.
"We need signs to slow the traffic down and make drivers more aware of the kids," VOAKES said.
He points out the neighbourhood has Laurier secondary school and two elementary schools.
"It will probably happen again if they don't do something," VOAKES warned.

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