Ronin Sharma, 16, was described as “a leader and an inspiration” as his family and community mourned him following the fatal crash he was involved in on Aug. 21.
Sharma, along with 16-year-old Caleb Reimer and 17-year-old Parker Magnuson were killed when the vehicle they were in hit a tree in the 16000-block of 104 Avenue in Fraser Heights just before 3 a.m. The three had previously played with the Delta Hockey Academy.
Sharma’s funeral was livestreamed on Saturday, Aug. 28, with family in attendance in person and more than 400 people watching online.
His older brother, Ryan, was the first to speak during the emotional service.
“It doesn’t make sense. Our Ronin, ripped away from us at such a young age, without any warning or a chance to help him,” he said.
“Ronin was the type of kid who would light up the room as soon as he walked in. He always had this dumb little smile on his face, that smirk, that brought laughter and joy to everyone.”
Ryan said that as a big brother, Ronin was “everything you could ask for in a little brother. He was a natural-born leader, so full of love, energy and empathy, the list could go on forever.”
He described Ronin, who played for the Langley Rivermen, as “a leader and an inspiration.”
“I know you’ll always be watching over us. I love you, may you rest easy,” he said, holding back tears.
In a September 2020 profile posted to the BCHL Network website, Sharma was described as a “big bodied forward” at 6’3” and 178 lbs.
Prior to signing with Langley, while playing for the Delta Academy Elite E15s in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League Sharma tallied 17 goals and 26 assists over 36 games.
The article quoted an eager Sharma saying it was “very exciting news” when he was signed by the Rivermen.
“I know it’s going to be a big jump [but] I feel I am ready to play in this league and will compete in every chance I am given.”
Natasha, Ronin’s older sister, reminisced about their time together.
“Though we bickered like crazy, Ronin, I’m so glad we became as close as we did. From our late-night ice cream or Timmy drives to me being your personal taxi driver. I’ll miss every bit of it. I’ll miss jamming out to music with you each drive we had — maybe not the 6 a.m. drives out to Langley — just kidding, I wish I was able to even do that just one more time.”
She added she was glad she, Ryan and Ronin got to have one last dinner together for the first time in months, the night before he died.
“I’m so glad I got one last kiss and hug from you,” said Natasha. “I’m so proud of the man, the hockey player, the person you grew into.”
Meantime, Reimer and Magnuson’s funerals are scheduled for sometime in the next week, notes a GoFundMe dedicated to the three boys.
The GoFundMe had raised more than $65,000 from 574 donors by Saturday morning (Aug. 28).
On Friday, Surrey RCMP released initial findings from the crash investigation, saying high speed was a factor in the early morning crash.
“Investigators have determined that the vehicle was travelling at a speed significantly greater than the posted speed limit at the time of the collision,” read a Surrey RCMP release sent Friday morning.
“The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstructive Service (ICARS) and the Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision Investigation Team (CCIT) are continuing to investigate, working cooperatively with the BC Coroner’s Service.”
Further information is not expected to be released by Surrey RCMP.
– With files from Dan Ferguson