Friends, family remember young boy killed in snowmobile accident

Eric McCarthy
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Mother, friends talk about 14-year-old Conor Shea who inspired poem in his memory

PLEASANT VIEW – The photo tells a story of a young boy who went the distance to help his friends.

It shows two boys in school uniforms running a cross-country trail.

The taller boy has his hand on his friend’s back, as if encouraging him along.

That is exactly what he was doing.

The taller boy is Conor Shea, the victim in Sunday’s fatal snowmobile collision in Pleasant View.

RELATED: Conor Shea, 14, identified as crash victim

Conor, who was 14, is survived by his parents, Michael and Patricia (Tish) Shea, his brother, Bradley, and sisters Ashley and Madison.

The photo was taken when he was in Grade 5 at St. Louis Elementary School. He had just finished his cross country race and had jumped the fence to run back to meet his friend, Zackary Chaisson, who had fallen behind.

“There’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Zackary. Like nothing. The sky’s the limit,” Maureen Chaisson said in describing the kind of friend Conor Shea was to her son.

On Monday, the day after the tragic accident, she and Zackary penned a poem about Conor and posted it on social media.

POEM: by Zackary and Maureen Chaisson about Conor Shea

“We’re all heartbroken, just devastated,” she said. “I just wanted to do that from Zackary, using some of his words on the little things that meant so much to him.”

Curtis Oliver also posted about Conor. His son, Ethan, is a teammate of Conor’s on the Tignish Bantam AA hockey team.

“Conor was a great kid who played hockey like a little man,” he posted.

He went on to describe how an opposing player was hitting everyone in sight until he ran up against Conor.

“Conor Shea played hockey with a huge heart, sticking up for his teammates and never backing down or giving up ... He will be missed forever,” Oliver said.

“I just find he is such a sweet kid that will do anything for you,” he said.

Conor’s mother agrees.

“He’s just an all-around nice kid,” Tish Shea described her son on Tuesday.

She said he loved hockey and he loved his friends.

“That’s how he is,” she said of that image of Conor finishing a race with his friend. “That’s just his nature.”

He also loved fishing with his father and anything with an engine.

She acknowledged how friends of Conor, his brother and sisters and the whole family have reached out to them since Sunday’s tragedy.

She told of friends staying with her as she waited for her husband, Michael, to make it home from out west, and all the support they’ve received.

“His favourite dog, Nash, is just lost here without him,” said his mom.

He was assistant captain of his hockey team and, although not one of the bigger players, he loved to check.

“The bigger they were, in his eyes, the harder they fell,” said his mom. “He had the blue eyes and the grin right on his face when he did it.”

The Shea family’s choice for memorial donations reflects Conor’s love of hockey.

“Instead of donations, I want to get jerseys in Conor’s memory for Tignish,” said his mom.

She especially wants to outfit the bantam boys, pee wee and midget girls teams with new jerseys. Memorial donations for P.E.I. Right to Life are also recommended.

“He is a role model to the rest of the young people on how to treat everyone,” Maureen Chaisson reflected.

Visiting hours for Conor Shea at West Prince Funeral Home in Palmer Road will be held on Wednesday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. His funeral mass will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Palmer Road on Thursday at 1 p.m.

Organizations: St. Louis Elementary School, West Prince Funeral Home, Immaculate Conception Church

Geographic location: St. Louis, Madison, Palmer Road Tignish

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Recent comments

  • Ed Gallant
    January 20, 2016 - 09:10

    Such a lovely poem Zach. I know you are hurting now but try to remember how your pal Conor lived his shortened life and if you follow Conor's example, you will make it.Keep strong.

  • Islander Girl
    January 20, 2016 - 08:08

    I am sure I did as all Islanders did when I heard the news, I sighed, feeling the weight in my heart, and thinking of the young man's family. I am so very sorry for your loss. May the love and acts of kindness of friends and family, strangers even, be a comfort to you in these tragic days ...

  • David Griffin
    January 19, 2016 - 22:48

    This is such a tragedy. A heart wrenching situation. My condolences to the Shea family. From what I have read Conor was an exceptional young boy who will be forever missed. Thank You Zach for sharing this poem in Conors memory

  • Stan Hope
    January 19, 2016 - 21:41

    My heart breaks for this family. Sincere condolences from a fellow Islander.