Friends mourn rugby player killed by wind-fallen tree in Surrey, B.C.
‘Shakir Salaam’s beautiful soul and kindness touched so many lives,’ says post on Go Fund Me page
Shakir Salaam died Oct. 14 after he was pinned under a tree that toppled in a violent windstorm in Surrey, B.C. (Steve Tammy Larson/Go Fund Me)
A community is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old young man killed by a tree that fell during the windstorm as he walked home from his Surrey, B.C., high school.
Shakir Salaam played rugby and dreamed of becoming a welder.
“[Salaam’s] beautiful soul and kindness touched so many lives and he was taken too soon,” reads a posting on a Go Fund Me page started to raise money to help the family pay for a funeral and counselling to help heal from such a sudden tragic loss.
“His high school, Clayton Heights Secondary School, and the surrounding community of Clayton Heights in Surrey, B.C., is in mourning; family, friends, acquaintances teachers, administrators and the community are in shock right now,” reads a message posted on the page organized by Tammy Larson.
Even B.C. Premier Christy Clark tweeted her condolences to the young man’s family, after hearing of the tragic death.
“Very sad to learn of the [16-year-old] who died #SurreyBC … my thoughts are with his family,” Clark wrote.
Shakir Salaam Surrey BC
Shakir Salaam’s death has left his family and community at Clayton Heights Secondary School in shock at the loss of a bright young man with a positive attitude toward life. (Kamil Karamali)
Salaam was known for his humour and positive attitude. He worked part-time at a Surrey restaurant and excelled at rugby.
The teen died at the height of a storm that swept the Lower Mainland on Friday with winds estimated at up to 80 kilometres per hour.
The call came in from Clayton Heights Secondary School around 2:30 p.m PT, said deputy Fire Chief Larry Thomas. First responders raced to a wooded area near the school to remove the tree from the injured student.
Salaam was rushed to hospital where he died later of his injuries.
He was originally identified as a 15-year-old in a police press release, but his age was given as 16 by friends and family members.
Shakir Salaam’s rugby team
Clayton Heights Secondary student Shakir Salaam played rugby for the school and a Go Fund Me page is urging other rugby schools to donate to his family’s fund. (Shakir Salaam