Lane Turigan made the most of his 18 years.
Friends and family members remember the young Stettler man who died last week as a carefree and fun-loving sort who lived life to the fullest.
He died at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary last Thursday from injuries sustained in an Oct. 13 highway accident about 20 kilometres from Stettler.
Turigan was the driver of the truck that left Highway 11 at the precariously sharp turn just before the Highway 12 intersection in foggy conditions during the wee hours of that Saturday morning.
Three passengers, including Turigan’s girlfriend Kendra Grams, survived the crash. The friends were en route home from Red Deer.
Stettler RCMP reported alcohol was not involved in the accident, but cited speed and heavy fog as possible factors.
Turigan’s funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Stettler Funeral Home.
“Lane is remembered as a fun-loving, energetic young man,” said Patti Marsh, partner of Turigan’s father Colin. “He enjoyed living life to the fullest.”
“He did stuff with his friends and he worked hard for his dad, welding, and he was very good at that. Anything that Lane set his mind to accomplish, he became very proficient at it.”
Marsh said Turigan liked drawing, music and gaming with his friends, along with horseback-riding with his family, trips to the mountains and vacationing.
“Many family stories say he had a passion for digging holes,” she said with a laugh. “And he had a hole in the yard here the size you could bury a car in.”
Family friend Rayleen Paschke, who works with Turigan’s mother Debbie, said she knew Lane all his life.
“He lived every day to the fullest — definitely,” Paschke said. “Absolutely, every day like it was the last. Live for today. Always.”
Turigan’s family was at his side during the almost three weeks he was hospitalized in Calgary. Back home in Stettler, the community rallied in support of his family.
Paschke set up a drop box at Hauck Vision and Hearing Centre, where people are still invited to leave family donations. She has also managed a Facebook page, the Lane Turigan Family Fund, which has been loaded with tributes and well-wishes and contained updates on Turigan’s condition during his hospitalization.
“It’s definitely a good showing of community support for them,” said Paschke, who wanted to help Turigan’s family members with costs for gas, meals and lodging while commuting to Calgary.
This week, his friends reflected on Turigan’s penchant for fun.
“He always liked to have fun,” said Mackenzie Rost, 18.
“He had a lot of fun and was carefree. He was just a good friend.
“I went to school with him for all of elementary and what not, but it’s just this last year that I got really close with him. We became pretty good friends. He was a good friend of one of my good friends (Brendan Grover).”
Last winter, one of Rost’s Grade 12 classmates, Koralea Boettger, died in a truck crash just outside Stettler.
Just like last February, the latest fatality hits home for young and old alike in Stettler.
“You appreciate (the fragility of life),” Rost said. “You’ve got to appreciate everybody that’s around you. They can be gone like that.”
Grover, 18, considered Turigan as one of his best friends. He went to Calgary last month to visit with Turigan in hospital.
“We grew up together,” Grover said. “The last two years, we were pretty close buddies. We liked to hang out and party together. We’d go over to his house, play video games and hang out. It would be pretty fun.”
Grover said it was by chance that he wasn’t with his longtime friend — and the others — the night of the accident.
“It just so happened I didn’t go to Red Deer with them that night.
“This is all pretty overwhelming right now.”
Turigan’s girlfriend paid tribute to him on Twitter last Friday.
“It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved, at all,” Grams tweeted.
“Rest in paradise, Lane.”