Travis Selje.

Cloverdale

Young woman charged in Surrey crash that killed Travis Selje, 17

Rituraj Kaur Grewal to appear in court on Nov. 13 in crash that killed young star soccer player

A Surrey woman has been charged in connection with the traffic crash which killed 17-year-old Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary student Travis Selje and injured another boy on May 3, 2017 in Cloverdale.

Selje died in hospital two days later, surrounded by his family.

Rituraj Kaur Grewal, 24, is charged with criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing death, criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm, and failing to remain at the scene of a collision.

She is set to appear in Surrey provincial court on Nov. 13. Grewal was in court on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and was released on conditions.

“This was a tragic incident that claimed the life of a promising young athlete in our community and injured another person,” Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko noted. “The Surrey RCMP continues its priority of road safety in our community by way of enforcement, education and prevention. The family of the male youth has asked that their privacy be respected during this difficult time.”

Selje’s death tore a hole in the community. The 1,095-seat Cloverdale Baptist Church was filled to capacity on May 17, 2017 as mourners celebrated the straight-A honour roll student’s life.

The fatal crash was at 64th Avenue and 176th Street. The Honda Prelude he was driving was hit by a cadillac.

homelessphoto

Photo taken in 2017 of roadside memorial where Selje, 17, was killed in traffic crash. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

READ ALSO: Surrey teen killed in Cloverdale crash remembered as amazing athlete and student

A bagpiper piped in the mourners, who heard testimonials from the gifted soccer player’s teammates, who presented a jersey to Travis’s family, in his memory. According to his obituary, Selje was in the Whitecaps residency program and in 2016 he returned to the Surrey United SC U16/U18 squad while also being a member of Team BC Soccer, with which he was to go to the Canada Games in August 2017.

Pastor Rob Godard said it was a time of sorrow and grief, but also a time to celebrate a life that was well lived.

“If you knew Travis, you would know he was amazing,” Godard said.

Teammate Trevor Schneider said he considered Travis to be his brother. He said the teen never uttered a negative word about anyone and “had a deep respect for others.”

In school Selje was a stellar student who “surpassed every expectation, no matter what class,” Schneider said, adding he was “so full of life and happiness.

“Rain or shine, he would always bring out a smile,” he said. “In class he would bring energy and life with his contagious laugh.”

Travis’s older sister said he was a “shining light whose brightness ended far too soon.

“Of course he thought he had all the time in the world to make his dreams happen,” she said. “His time was stolen. If only he had more time.”

The teen was described as polite, humble, hardworking and respectful.

Mourners saw a slide show covering special moments in Travis’s young life. It ended, hauntingly, with his final instagram post, showing him standing in silhouette on a beach in Mexico, with palm trees and a turquoise ocean in the background.

He was referring to his trip, his sister said. His message was “I’m here for a good time, not a long time.”

Surrey recorded 19 traffic fatalities and 23 serious injuries in 2017.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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