By Sutton Eaves
Justin Sherwood’s only glimpse of his much-anticipated life at Ryerson was eclipsed the afternoon following his orientation when he died in a car accident half a block from his home.
Sherwood, 18, was in his last year at Markville Secondary School and had dreams of attending Ryerson’s information technology management program after graduation.
The day before he died, he toured the campus with his mother to see the bustle of student activity he wanted to be a part of for the next four years of his life.
“He was elated. He knew what he wanted and what he had to do to get into Ryerson,” said his father, Garfield Sherwood. “Computers, computers, computers. That’s what he was interested in.”
On Oct. 26, Justin was driving home from school alone when his car lost control and swerved into an opposing lane of traffic, colliding with an oncoming car.
More than a dozen bouquets of flowers are placed throughout his home. Their scent is a heartbreaking reminder of a young life cut short.
In Justin’s memory, Garfield and his wife Debbie are creating a scholarship to be awarded to a graduating student from Markville.
“Twelve-hundred people paid their respects to Justin at the funeral parlour. If we can take that money from all the flowers people are donating, then we are going to be able to fulfill something that Justin dreamed of doing but never had the chance to accomplish in his young life,” said Garfield Sherwood. Neither he nor his wife had the opportunity to attend university.
Still shocked by the accident, Sherwood’s parents haven’t decided on the details of the scholarship. But, they say they not want it to go to someone who has a 90 per cent average.
“(The criteria) will be something pertaining to the integrity and humanity my son stood for, and his compassion for someone less fortunate than himself,” Garfield Sherwood said.
Anne Belanger, principal of Markville Secondary, said name-plated benches will be erected in Justin’s honour just inside the front doors of the school.