The full house at 16-year-old Caleb Reimer’s funeral was a “testament to the lives he’s touched and the legacy he’s left behind,” and he will “surely never be forgotten,” said his father, Chris.
In Surrey, Caleb was killed, along with 17-year-old Parker Magnuson and 16-year-old Ronin Sharma, when the vehicle they were in hit a tree in the 16000-block of 104 Avenue in Fraser Heights just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 21.
The three had previously trained with Delta Hockey Academy.
Reimer’s funeral was held at Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Fraser Heights on Thursday (Sept. 2), which has a capacity of 1,500 seats. With COVID-19 restrictions, the auditorium could have up to 50 per cent capacity. More than 400 people also watched a livestream of the funeral.
Chris said Caleb’s “short, almost 17 years with us, was anything but typical.” He detailed Caleb’s love of hockey, saying from day one he was “obsessed with everything hockey.”
“He instinctively knew how to stick-handle before he was two.”
While Chris said Caleb was “so much more than a hockey player,” and as parents, Chris and Jodi hesitated to make hockey who he was as a person.
“That said, hockey has given Caleb so much. Many of the tools, skills, disciplines came from hockey to become the fine, respectable, kind young person you all know.”
He added it was an “absolute privilege being part of your life.”
“We’re going to miss watching what could have been. We’re going to miss watching him grow, his first cars, his first loves, blossoming lifelong friendships, starting a family, grandchildren, vacations, road trips, growing old together.”
The Now-Leader profiled Reimer back in February as he prepped to head to Edmonton for a delayed started to the Western Hockey League season.
On the day of his funeral, I just re-read my story about Surrey’s Caleb Reimer, from February.
He was on a path to pro hockey, maybe even the NHL, with all the attributes to get there.
Turns out you weren’t one of the lucky ones. https://t.co/Nhv3cBRYrH
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) September 2, 2021
Last winter, Reimer headed to Oil Kings training camp nearly two years after the franchise made him the first Surrey-area player selected in WHL Bantam Draft in the spring of 2019, in the first round, 18th overall.
This week, Magnuson’s funeral was held a day earlier than Reimer’s, on Wednesday, Sept. 1, with some family and friends in attendance in person and more than 500 people watching online.
Magnuson’s father, Kent, said his role as Parker’s dad is “to protect your legacy and make sure your life is not defined by one single tragic event.”
“I know you’re agonizing in your role over this and the trouble you’ve caused all of us. It’s so important for you to know that we forgive you … I will always be your dad and I’m so glad I got 17 years with you.”
The blue Ford Focus RS involved in the fatal crash belongs to Magnuson, or his family, the Now-Leader has learned, but police won’t publicly reveal who was driving it at the time.
Meantime, Sharma’s funeral was on Aug. 28 for family and friends in person and more than 400 people watching online.
His older brother, Ryan, described Ronin as “a leader and an inspiration,” while his sister, Natasha, reminisced about their time together.
She added she was glad she, Ryan and Ronin got to have one last dinner together for the first time in months, the night before he died.
“I’m so glad I got one last kiss and hug from you,” said Natasha. “I’m so proud of the man, the hockey player, the person you grew into.”
A GoFundMe for the three boys has raised more than $71,000 from 617 donors by Thursday afternoon. The fundraiser can be found at: gofundme.com/f/legacy-for-ronin-caleb-and-parker.
On Aug. 27, Surrey RCMP released initial findings from the crash investigation, saying high speed was a factor in the early morning crash.
“Investigators have determined that the vehicle was travelling at a speed significantly greater than the posted speed limit at the time of the collision,” read a Surrey RCMP release sent Friday morning.
“The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstructive Service (ICARS) and the Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision Investigation Team (CCIT) are continuing to investigate, working cooperatively with the BC Coroner’s Service.”
Further information is not expected to be released by Surrey RCMP.
– With files from Tom Zillich