Remembering Paige

Five years since the death of vibrant Saltair woman

Paige Whitelaw had a zest for life that was infectious. (File photo)

Paige Whitelaw had a zest for life that was infectious. (File photo)

It’s been five years since the death of a prominent young Saltair woman with a great future ahead of her shocked the community.

Paige Whitelaw was well-known, respected and loved. That was reflected in the huge turnout at the Chemainus Secondary School gymnasium for her memorial service on March 19, 2016.

Whitelaw was just 20 when she died in an accident near Vernon on March 6, 2016, along with good friend Carlee De Boer. They were passengers in a pick-up truck driven by Travis Fox of Enderby, who survived the crash and was eventually sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing death, two counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

There were two other passengers in the vehicle. Fox failed to negotiate a curve and the truck went off Highway 6 and flipped in a ditch.

Related story: Driver sentenced to three years in 2016 deaths of Whitelaw and friend

On the anniversary date, friends and family reflected on the impact Paige made of their lives.

“There hasn’t been a single day or time that Paige hasn’t been on my mind,” noted Emily Adams. “Everything I have done since, has been for her. She is my motivation and inspiration. My very best friend. I feel so lucky to have been a part of her life and that she will forever be a part of mine. Days aren’t easy knowing she isn’t around, but her memories keep me going.

“I will always miss the nights we would spend eating five cent candies and baking up a storm in her kitchen, but most of all, I just miss being around her,” she added. “I miss telling her about my day, big or small she was always there for me. To get mad at me, to laugh with me, to support me, to cry with me. There is so much to tell her, but I know she’s somewhere looking out for me.”

Adams was grateful for the support from Paige’s parents Nadine and Ernie and their other daughter Nicole.

“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” conceded Adams. “I am thankful for them everyday. That day does not feel like five years ago. But at the same time, it feels like 100 years without her.”

Regular tributes to Paige include the Paige Whitelaw Memorial Bursary, with $2,000 given out each year to students in Chemainus and Duncan who fit the criteria. She’s also been remembered through the Cowichan Valley Memorial Midget C hockey tournament that brings together families from the region affected by similar tragedies.

The tournament unfortunately did not take place last year due to COVID and remains in limbo for 2021 depending on the orders of public health officials.

A bench in memory of Paige is situated at Sproat Lake in Port Alberni where family and friends spent considerable vacation time.

Paige was a gifted athlete, with a passion for hockey. She was a youth volunteer at the Chemainus Health Care Centre and also volunteered her time at other places around the community.

At the time of the accident, Paige was in her final year at Okanagan College in Kelowna and was looking forward to starting a career as a therapist assistant.

auto accidentDeath

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Paige Whitelaw, an avid sports fan, in her Vancouver Canucks’ toque. (File photo)

Paige Whitelaw, an avid sports fan, in her Vancouver Canucks’ toque. (File photo)

Paige Whitelaw enjoyed all sorts of sports and outdoor activities. (File photo)

Paige Whitelaw enjoyed all sorts of sports and outdoor activities. (File photo)

Just Posted

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees in Oyster Bay

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Ladysmith’s Taylor Walters received the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and is hard at work pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Human-Computer Interaction at Quest University. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith teen receives Terry Fox Humanitarian Award for advocating equal access to STEM opportunities

‘Different people think differently and that’s so important for innovation,’ Taylor Walters says

A vehicle is totalled after a driver crashed into the side of a tow truck outside Central Island Towing. (Cole Schisler photo)
Car totalled after colliding with the back of a tow truck in Ladysmith

Nobody was injured, but repairs on the tow truck are expected to cost thousands of dollars

Chemainus Art Group creates mural mosaic to celebrate a joyful spring. (Photo submitted)
Art group members celebrate a joyful spring in Chemainus

Each of 33 squares pushed together into one mural

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read