Gazebo dedicated to teens killed in wrong-way crash

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DUXBURY, Vt. (WCAX) "Out of something sad we've made something beautiful," said David Goodman, the chair of the Harwood Union High School Board.

At Harwood Union High School, there's a new, permanent memorial in honor of five teens tragically killed nearly one year ago.

"While we miss them tremendously, they are with us every day," said Lisa Atwood, the principal of Harwood.

Four of the teens were juniors at Harwood, while the fifth attended a high school in New Hampshire.

"This gazebo is in remembrance of Cyrus, Eli, Liam, Mary and their friend, Janie," Atwood said.

"A place where students can come together and honor who these five young people who we lost were," Goodman said.

The gazebo is a class gift from 2018 seniors, who continue to mourn their late peers. The crash that claimed their lives happened Oct. 8 of last year and involved a wrong-way driver.

"The moment that we received news of the crash, the first thing that happened was that students gathered. They came together in the school, then in a candlelight vigil on the soccer field. So, it has been symbolic of how this whole year has gone," Goodman said.

The gazebo was paid for through the generosity of donations. The principal says the funds were raised in just 72 hours. Seventeen-thousand dollars in raised monies provided for wheelchair accessibility, electricity and landscaping.

After the ribbon was cut, students got to see the symbol of support, many with their hearts still aching from the painful memories.

"I think that the grieving process takes a long period of time. It goes through many stages. And so, no, it does not feel like it's the past, it feels very present," Superintendent Brigid Nease said.

"Our small school in the heart of these Green Mountains has shown the whole state how to grieve, how to heal and how to celebrate life together," Goodman said.

Family members of four of the young victims were at Thursday's memorial ceremony. They did not speak publicly.

All five of the teens would have graduated from high school next spring.

Meanwhile, the man charged in that deadly crash, Steven Bourgoin, continues to await trial, tentatively scheduled for February. He faces five counts of second-degree murder and other charges related to the theft and crash of a police cruiser. Bourgoin has entered pleas of not guilty to all charges.