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Memorial erected along New Harbour Barrens Road to remember Hannah Thorne

The new memorial in memory of Hannah Thorne was unveiled Friday afternoon by Thorne’s immediate family.
The new memorial in memory of Hannah Thorne was unveiled Friday afternoon by Thorne’s immediate family.

NEW HARBOUR BARRENS, NL — It’s a sign that’s impossible to miss along the New Harbour Barrens Road.

A photo of a beautiful, smiling girl — Hannah Thorne — graces the large sign.

Beneath the billboard, there’s a pink and purple bench and a flowerbed.

The ashes of the smiling girl will be scattered here.

On Friday, July 7, exactly one year ago from that day that 18-year-old Hannah was killed in an accident at this very spot, her family and friends gathered to celebrate her life, and unveil the memorial with an important message.

The large sign reads STAND for Hannah.

The acronym STAND means “Standing Together Against Negligent Driving.

Hannah was killed when the car she was riding in with her grandmother was involved in head-on collision.

Two Bay Roberts men were allegedly street racing and charged with criminal negligence causing death. They go to trial in October.

About 100 people gathered Friday afternoon, at the crash site, to remember Hannah through prayers and songs. The sounds of her own ukulele accompanied their voices.

At approximately 5:28, the large group gathered together for a moment of silence, followed by a prayer. The timing was chosen to reflect the time of 2016 accident.

Dwayne Legge is a relative of the Thorne family and a member of the STAND for Hannah foundation, created after her death.

He told The Compass the memorial serves as not only a way to remember Hannah, but also as a word of caution to drivers.

“It’s put there to honour Hannah, but we also want to send out a message,” said Legge.

“Think before you get behind the wheel, because every single decision has consequences. Think about what you’re doing, and whether or not it’s safe. If something happens, it might not just be your life and your family’s life that’s affected. Other people could also be hurt, and it can and will change people’s lives forever.”

The foundation is also working closely with government officials on issues such as the safety of roads in the province.

Legge added that although the STAND for Hannah foundation has only been active for under a year, it’s already made some significant progress, and is working harder as time goes on.

“Right now, we’re working on getting a video together,” Legge said. “We want the video to showcase the long-term effects of reckless and careless driving.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to share that video around to schools, driving schools . . . in order to help spread that message as best we can.”

While the STAND for Hannah foundation works toward other goals, Legge hopes the memorial helps family and friends remember Hannah, and serve as a stark reminder of the danger of reckless driving.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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