The graffiti dedicated to Jorden Child was power-washed away by city workers yesterday. (Facebook.)

UPDATE: Abbotsford erases skate park graffiti mural honouring student killed in car crash

Many in community angry at city’s move after saying art wouldn’t be immediately removed

Only two weeks after his death, the city of Abbotsford has removed the skate park graffiti mural honouring Jorden Child’s life after saying it wouldn’t be immediately erased.

Fellow student Kelsea Munn watched city workers power-wash the mural away yesterday.

“I think he deserves to have his name there because he went there all the time, every day. That’s where he could be free,” she said. “Many people I’ve talked to say they are mad and angry that the city chose to take it away.”

On the morning of Sept. 3, the high school senior was leaving a grad party in the Chilliwack River Valley area when the vehicle he was driving crashed into a tree. Later that night, a vigil for Child was held at the skate park across from Yale Secondary School.

Fellow skater Travis Regnier said an old friend of Child had come from out of town to produce the mural. He said he can’t understand the city’s actions.

“[This is] almost borderline disrespecting Jorden’s memorial and the grieving process of everybody at the skate park,” he said. “It’s really upset a lot of the kids there. A lot of these kids are not even 16 years old.”

After the graffiti murals were created, a spokesperson for the city said they wouldn’t immediately remove the artwork. Yet two days ago, city workers began to wash the graffiti away.

A city notice was left at the park saying the memorials would be removed due to safety concerns but many of Child’s peers don’t accept this reason.

“It’s always been an ongoing struggle to have repairs done to the skate park,” Regnier said. “As soon as it comes to an image thing, it always seems like that’s a top priority versus the actual safety of the park.”

The city issued a statement saying they contracted a cleanup service to dispose of garbage, broken glass and damaged fencing which posed a danger to park users. This service also included removal of the graffiti because it wasn’t contained to the skate park.

“We empathize with the grief that many youth are facing and we support the youth in finding respectful and meaningful outlets at this difficult time,” a city spokesperson said.

“The City has met with, and continues to engage with the youth in the area, other users of the skate park, the neighbouring high school and the young man’s family to coordinate with those who would like to create a lasting memorial.”

Munn said others are also upset that a memorial dedicated to another Abbotsford student who died last week was removed along with the graffiti for Child.

RELATED: Street art in memory of teen killed in car crash won’t be immediately removed, city says

RELATED: Abbotsford teen confirmed as victim of fatal car crash in Chilliwack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read