Hunting Hills remembers former student

Matthew Deller, 16, one of four killed in Grande Prairie crash

Matthew Deller, 16, a former Hunting Hills High School student, was one of four teens killed in an early Saturday morning collision south of Grande Prairie.

A truck collided with the car occupied by Deller and four other teens, Vincent Stover, 16, Walter Borden – Wilkins, 15, Tanner Hildebrand, 15 and Zachary Judd, 15. All except Judd, who was critically injured in the crash, were killed.

Deller was attending Grande Prairie Composite High School and all five of the youth were on the Warriors football team.

As a former student of Hunting Hills High School Deller is well remembered and students and staff are rallying together to send notes and a card to the family of the deceased youth.

“There has been a good response to the card and the notes to be sent,” said Hunting Hills Vice Principal Kevin Robertson.

Robertson said while Deller wasn’t in the grade level he was administration for, the students and staff at Hunting Hills are feeling the loss.

“It’s a combination of kids who knew him as well as those who didn’t but acknowledge who he was.”

Yesterday at the school, students wore orange bands in recognition of the team colours that Deller wore at his Grande Prairie school.

A facebook memorial page has been created for Deller and many posts and comments have been made regarding the orange bands to recognize Deller’s involvement with the Warriors football team.

“The bands were very prevalent. Deller took part in a lot of athletics here so those kids know him.”

Students at Hunting Hills were encouraged to wear something orange and bands were being passed out at the door to anybody who wanted one Tuesday morning. Students at Hunting Hills who had known Deller made the bands.

Robertson said the loss of Deller, or any student, is always a devastating time.

“Kids connect to the situation and to the student and acknowledge that they should think about the young man that this tragedy has happened to.”

There are some students at Hunting Hills who would have been very close to Deller because he shared classes with them or was their cherished teammate.

“The football community is a very close knit one so even the students here that didn’t know him but know he was a football player in Grande Prairie are feeling sad.”

Robertson said it is always hard to cope with the reality that things like this can happen close to home.

“And for sure there have been some kids deeply affected by this. We’ve had counsellors talking with the kids that have come to us and sought out some help to deal with the grief and the shock.”

Students, staff, friends, and family of the five youth all continue to send well wishes to Judd, who was sent to the hospital after the collision, as well as continuing to send condolences to the families of the four boys lost in the accident.

Brendan Holubowich, 21, of Grande Prairie is facing 11 charges in relation to the crash.

He is charged with four counts of impaired driving causing death, four counts of operating a motor vehicle over .08 causing death, one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm, one count of operating a motor vehicle over .08 causing bodily harm and one count failing to remain at an accident scene.

Holubowich has been released on bail.

Meanwhile, one facebook post for the victims reads, “In memory of the four fallen warriors and the one left standing. Rest in peace. Zach, everyone is still on the sidelines cheering for you.”

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

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