SYDNEY — "Everybody's hurting."
That was how Inverness MLA Alan MacMaster described the state of mind of Inverness County residents the day after a devastating single-vehicle accident outside Port Hood that killed three young people and sent four others to hospital.
"They're great young people, the boys I knew, they always had a smile for you, they're very kind, come from a really good family," MacMaster said. "It's just a terrible loss to have heard about it (Tuesday) morning."
The accident was reported Monday at about 11:30 p.m. on Shore Road in Harbourview, south of Port Hood. Seven people were inside the five-seat compact car, a Toyota Echo, that was travelling northbound when it left the road on a straight section of the two-lane road and went into a ditch. The pavement was dry at the time.
Speed is believed to have been a factor. An RCMP traffic analyst was called to help with the investigation.
"The investigation is still ongoing and if anything else was a factor, that will come to light," said Const. Brad Anderson of the Inverness County RCMP.
A 17-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man were pronounced dead at the scene. A 20-year-old man died before he could be airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. Among the dead were two brothers.
Four others — three males and a female — were taken to St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish to be treated for their injuries. One of the four people initially transported to Antigonish was airlifted to the QEII for further treatment.
Their ages range from 16 to 21. Everyone involved in the accident was from the Judique-Port Hood area.
The driver was injured in the crash, although the injuries don't appear to be as severe as those of some of the other passengers, Anderson said.
The car rolled in the crash and several people were ejected from the vehicle, he said.
Investigators hadn't yet spoken with the accident survivors by late Tuesday afternoon as they were still being treated in hospital for their injuries.
Shore Road connects Judique to Harbourview, just outside of Port Hood.
MacMaster said he knew of all seven people involved in the crash and personally knew several of them. He noted one of the brothers that died had sat in front of him at church services on Sunday.
Virtually everyone in Inverness County was talking about the tragic crash Tuesday, MacMaster said, and he encouraged them to show support for the families affected.
"I think now all we can do for those families is be respectful of them right now as they're dealing with this, and also be there and be ready to support them with whatever they need," MacMaster said.
"It's hard to understand, it's sad to lose young people."