A community is reeling — but also rallying — after 15-year-old Ryan MacKinnon was seriously injured last week in a violent collision in O’Leary.
Ryan was walking along Main Street after 11 p.m. on Aug. 6 when he was struck by a motorcyclist. He was airlifted to hospital in Halifax.
“Your heart sunk that day when you found out the news and the severity of the accident,’’ says Cleve McNeill, who has coached Ryan for the past two years on the Prince County Warriors Bantam AAA hockey team.
“Tragic isn’t a strong enough word. Your heart breaks for him, it breaks for the family that has to go through that shock and tragedy.’’
McNeill says Ryan has undergone a number of lengthy surgeries and remains in critical but stable condition.
Ryan is the son of Darren and Dianne MacKinnon, and the younger brother of Madison and Hannah. Darren is the deputy mayor of O’Leary.
McNeill describes Ryan as a good hockey player but an even better person who is mature beyond his years.
“He’s very personable, very down to earth, but very open and social … and very well respected,’’ he says.
McNeill is pleased, but certainly not surprised, by the large outpouring of support.
“We’re all thinking of him,’’ says McNeill.
“We’re all thinking of his family. We are sending our prayers to him.’’
RCMP responded to a call at about 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 of a motorcyclist striking a pedestrian on Main Street in O’Leary.
RCMP Cpl. Nick Doyle told The Guardian last week that speed may have been a factor, but police did not believe either alcohol or drugs played a part in the collision.
The motorcyclist, a 22-year-old man, was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Guardian was unable to get an update from the RCMP on the investigation into the collision by press time Thursday.