According to a Sep. 17 story by The Register Guard, a South student was found dead at the scene of a car accident along Old Stagecoach Road, north of Highway 126, on Sep. 16. Canyon McCardel, 18, died when the SUV he was driving crashed off an embankment and rolled down the side of the hill, until landing on the railroad tracks 40 feet below. According to police, the wreck occurred late Saturday night.
Hannah Smith, a recent South Eugene graduate, was found trapped inside the car with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. She was rushed to Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield. Smith is doing well and was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
With the death of McCardel, the South student body has come together to give support to everyone who was affected by his death. The following weeks after the accident, South set up a station in the main hall where students wrote hundreds of notes to the family of McCardel, and to Smith, who was staying in the hospital. During the next football game students wore the number 21, McCardel’s number for football, to show their support. South students also held a candlelight vigil on the Thursday following his death to help honor his memory and to give their support to his South friends. In addition, there was a stone painting ceremony in the Positive Change Courtyard, where people were able to come all day and paint a stone and place it in the courtyard to help remember him.
Over the past few years, South has seen its fair share of tragedy. We have felt the loss of students, friends, staff, and family, but each time we have come together as a community to lend support. Although McCardel’s death is a tragedy, he will always be remembered for being a fellow Axeman.