by Samantha Fernandez
News Editor – The Lance
Gabrielle Greenwood and Aidan Hicks were remembered as being vibrant, energetic children who impacted the lives of their friends and family on the second anniversary of their death.
Light Up the Night was a team effort between Glen Greenwood, the father of Gabrielle, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Toboggan were invited to Malden Park covered in glow sticks and quite literally, light up the night, while remembering the tragic accident on I-75.
The multi-vehicle crash happened in the early hours of Jan. 31, 2013 near Springwells Street which is approximately two miles west of the Ambassador Bridge. Approximately 20 people were injured during the crash and a number of individuals had to be freed from their vehicles using the Jaws of Life. The cause of the crash was thought to be snow squalls which made visibility poor. Witnesses described the conditions surrounding the crash in multiple media reports as going from clear to a total whiteout in a matter of seconds. The wreckage closed the I-75 for several hours while debris littered the roadway.
Hayley Morgan, the foundation executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked in close ties with Greenwood to set up this event.
“We are selling glow sticks because this is a night time event,” said Morgan. “We wanted to have everyone really light up the night and celebrate the lives of Gabi and Aidan.”
There were many sponsors at the event, such as Tim Horton’s on Huron Church who supplied hot chocolate, Chuck E. Cheese who was there giving out cotton candy to the kids, and there was also Black Jack Food truck selling food to supporters.
“Tonight is more to keep their smiles and their spirits alive; they used to love coming here, so this park has a lot of meaning to my wife and I,” said Greenwood. “Their smiles were brighter than anything, I look around and I know they are here with us.”
Many members of the community were there, including many close friends and family members of the Greenwood’s.
“We’ve gotten unbelievable support from the community, they want to help,” said Greenwood. “People I see that I’ve never met before come up and shake my hand and apologize. Community support is a huge thing.”
Members of the family said it is a great way not only to remember Gabi and Aidan, but also a great way for the family to get together in a place that means so much to them.
Kerry and Kyle Patrick, friends of the Greenwood’s, said there would be no better way to celebrate the lives of these two young children.
“We did this last year on the one year anniversary, it gets bigger and bigger every year,” said Patrick. “Windsor and Essex County have definitely supported Glen and Kim, along with their families throughout the process, you can see it and it’s great to live in an area where you have that kind of support.”