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'Shocking and horrible tragedy': 6 young people die in crash

'As a parent myself this is the worst nightmare. The six families in our city who are devastated this morning need all of our compassion and support, Barrie,' says mayor
Barrie police on scene at a fatal crash that killed six people, near McKay Road and County Road 27 in the city's south end.

The search for six missing Barrie residents turned tragic early Sunday morning after the car they’d been in was found on a rural road near County Road 27 and McKay Road in the city’s south end. Six people in their early 20s have been confirmed to have died. 

At approximately 2 a.m., on Aug. 28, Barrie police found the fatal crash scene, which involved one vehicle. The area, just north of Georgian Downs, is located near the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses and a scattering of small homes. It appears McKay Road had been closed to non-local traffic and was undergoing road work.

Barrie police communications co-ordinator Jennett Mays told BarrieToday the car was discovered by an on-duty police officer, although few other details have been released, including a timeline of what happened. 

“I just know it was a member of the Barrie Police Service that located the scene,” Mays said Sunday morning.

Although Mays said police will not be releasing the names of the victims, a news release issued Sunday morning acknowledged the occupants of the car are believed to be the six people who had been reported missing Saturday evening.

Shortly before noon on Sunday, Mays said the victims include four males and two females, all in their early 20s. She said officers were in the process of notifying the families of the deceased.

BarrieToday is withholding the names at this time until the victims' identities have been confirmed.

“This will be a difficult time for our community with the loss of these individuals, and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those involved. We thank everyone who shared our missing persons posts and provided information,” Mays told BarrieToday.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman also tweeted about the crash Sunday morning, offering his condolences to the families involved.

"A shocking and horrible tragedy has happened, taking the lives of six young people with their whole future ahead of them," Lehman said. "As a parent myself this is the worst nightmare. The six families in our city who are devastated this morning need all of our compassion and support, Barrie."

The Barrie police traffic unit was still on scene investigating along with officers from the Investigative Services division at 11 a.m., Sunday.

Mays told BarrieToday there are few other details about the cause of the crash, but that additional details will likely be released as the investigation continues.

“The investigation is continuing and they will look at all aspects of it,” she said. “They’ve been there for a while, but it could be a while yet."

Fire Chief Cory Mainprize said approximately 24 Barrie Fire personnel were on scene until around 8 a.m., Sunday.

“We cleared some apparatus and we are still going to have crews on scene for some time assisting Barrie police,” he told BarrieToday. “I can confirm that area is under construction, but the status of what section of the road was closed, or not, I am going to leave that for Barrie police.”

Mainprize told BarrieToday the crash is one of the worst he and his crew have been involved with in recent years. 

“It’s an extremely large (crash). Six deceased people is a lot in one accident. It’s been very challenging for all of our staff and even more importantly, for all of these families who have lost loved ones and their friend," he said. "It’s a devastating day for them. Out of respect for (families) we don’t want to share any details before the families are notified.”

'Shocking and horrible tragedy': Six young people die in crash