When Carson Crimeni was playing right wing in the Langley Minor Hockey League, he wasn’t the fastest skater on the ice.
But he was a tactical player, who would park himself in front of the other team’s net, and use that position to shovel the puck back in on a rebound.
They might have been “garbage goals,” his grandfather, Darrel Crimeni, commented, but they still counted.
“A goal is a goal,” Darrel observed.
On Friday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m., a memorial to Carson will be unveiled at the Langley Sportsplex on 20165 91A Ave. where he used to play.
The event will be open to the public.
“It was his home rink,” Darrel explained.
Carson’s jersey with his number 14 has been neatly folded and mounted in a shadow box display along with a photo of him in his hockey garb, smiling.
“He had fun,” Darrel recalled.
After Carson died, a young player got his hockey gear, purchased when he had just outgrown his last set of skates and pads.
Darrel views the memorial, the idea of Carson’s last team manager, as another way of educating people about the kind of drug abuse that is believed responsible for Carson’s death, after he was discovered in severe medical distress near the Walnut Grove skate park last August.
“It’s about public awareness,” Darrel told the Langley Advance Times, more than a reminder of his late grandson.
“We’ve got lots of fond memories of Carson.”
Darrel supports the idea of renaming the skate park after Carson, but he is doubtful it will happen, despite an online campaign launched by a Langley dad whose online petition at change.org, “Rename WG Skateboard Park – Carson Crimeni Memorial Skate Park” has collected more than 3,800 signatures so far.
Police have informed the family that their report on the investigation into Carson’s death has been given to the Crown counsel prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether charges are laid.
They were told it was filed at the end of December, said Darrel.
“We’re still waiting [to hear if any charges will be laid].”
He ran out almost instantly.
“I could have made a hundred,” he estimated.
Some people suggested he could have sold the t shirts to raise funds rather than give them away, something Darrel hadn’t considered, but might try next year.
Carson was found in severe medical distress in the area of the Walnut Grove skate park on Aug. 7 by police who tried to revive him while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Video clips posted to social media show the Langley teen barely able to stand or speak while people can be heard laughing.
His father Aron said he has been told an autopsy found no injuries or health problems that would account for the 14-year-old Langley teen’s death.
A review by the police watchdog Independent Investigations Office (IIO) found the officers who tried and failed to locate Carson Crimeni on that night acted properly.
In the report, IIO chief director Ronald J. MacDonald described how, by the time the first officers arrived at the Walnut Grove Skate Park on Aug. 7 to search for Carson, the boy and the group of teens he was thought to be with had left.
A second 9-1-1 call about Carson came at 10:39 p.m., after he was discovered near the baseball diamond, and paramedics and police were again dispatched, this time finding him.
He was rushed to hospital but died later that night.