A candlelight vigil held Friday night paid tribute to three members of a Peterborough-area family killed in a collision last week.

Vigil held for MacHart family members who died in Hwy. 7 collision east of Peterborough

The Nov. 22 collision on Hwy. 7 just east of Peterborough claimed the lives of members of the “MacHart” family of Otonabee-South Monaghan Township: 18-year-old Riddick Hart, and his parents Stefphanie Hart, 52, and Jonathan MacDonnell, 46. Riddick’s sister Rowghan Hart, 14, remains at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto with life-threatening injuries.

Jason Schmidt, 42, of Hastings, was the fourth victim in the collision between an SUV and pick-up truck.

Among 80 people attended the vigil, which was organized by Revolutions Dance Studio on Park Street where Riddick and Rowghan were active members.

Also in attendance were members of the Thomas A Stewart (TAS) Secondary School’s dance program and the Peterborough Lakers lacrosse team, as Riddick last season performed as the team’s mascot “Leo the Laker Lion.” MacDonnell also occasionally donned the costume

Vigil held for MacHart family members who died in Hwy. 7 collision east of Peterborough
0:49 Peterborough dance studio holds vigil for MacHart family

Melissa Earle, the studio’s artistic director, says the competitive team gathered on Nov. 23 to support one another prior to the vigil.

“A lot of the dancers found out through school what had happened so I felt it was important to do that,” she said. “But tonight (Friday), I wanted to reach out a bit further. … I just felt it was important for everybody to be with one another and pay tribute to the MacHart family.”

Along with a vigil outside, a slideshow presentation was held inside the studio, highlighting the children’s climb through the dancing ranks.

“I believe Riddick was six or seven when he started with me, right up until last season,” Earle.

“One of the biggest memories for the kids is Riddick missed his prom last season because he was at a dance competition. So we made sure to crown him and another dancer ‘Prom King and Queen.’ We wanted to make sure that was still special for them.”

Studio caretaker Al Beeby recalls when Riddick and Rowghan began at the studio more than a decade ago.

“Rowghan and Riddick just light up when they come in the room — they’re so full of life and energy,” he said. “Riddick when he first started, he was maybe five or six years of age and he was doing a musical theatre number. I knew right from the get go, there’s something special about this kid.”

And the MacHart’s performances didn’t end at Dance Revolutions. The family was part of a production of The Queensville Players in Keswick, Ont. Its musical is now closed following the tragedy.

“As anyone in theatre knows, the bonds that are forged among the cast, crew and creative team, are always unbreakable,” said president Karin Simpson. “This show was no different in that regard; however, since learning about the tragedy, those bonds have imprinted on each of our souls like never before. …. Riddick, Jon and Stefphanie, …we will continue to keep a vigilant and constant watch over Row. … We love our MacHarts deep.”

Both kids were part of the arts program TAS and Stefphanie was also an educational assistant at the Armour Road school.

Principal Debbie Callahan released a statement Friday afternoon describing how the school is processing the tragedy with the help of the school board’s crisis workers.

“Today, during the PA day, staff reflected with Peterborough Hospice, the mental health clinicians and victim services on how to support our community moving forward, especially as we care for students,” Callahan said.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation by Peterborough County OPP.

One GoFundMe page as of Monday morning has raised more than $71,000 to support Rowghan and her road to recovery. Monday marks her 14th birthday, according to family member Tanya Hart who organized the page.

“We have been reassured by doctors that Rowghan’s chance of survival is very high,” Hart posted on her Facebook page on Saturday. “They also believe that she has not sustained any brain or heart injuries.

Hart says Rowghan is able to communicate through “head nods, smiles, frowns and tears.

“She was awake with us for about an hour, and it was amazing and heart-warming,” she said. “These injuries are forever going to change Rowghan’s way of life. The road to recovery is going to be long and difficult. She will need the support of family, friends, and her communities to get through this.”

A second GoFundMe page started by Kathryn Wilson, a close family friend and co-worker of MacDonnell, has raised another $7,200 to support funeral costs for the family.

As for Earle, she says the tragedy has not only shaken her dancers, but herself personally as she reflected on photos of Riddick performing with her children.

“He’s part of my family and so is the rest of his family,” she said. “We really want Rowghan to pull through and be OK.”

— With files from Sam Houpt/Global News Peterborough

NEWS RELATED

The week in theatre: Othello; The Unfriend; On the Ropes – review

Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian Frantic Assembly’s roughed-up, seized-by-the-scruff-of-its-neck version of Othello keeps shining new lights on Shakespeare’s play. When I first saw Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett’s adaptation 14 years ago, the switch of setting – to a pool bar in the 21st century – was invigorating, but the ...

View more: The week in theatre: Othello; The Unfriend; On the Ropes – review

Triple killer asylum seeker Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai threatened me after lying about his age to go to my school

A FELLOW pupil of asylum seeker Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai has told how she was threatened by the triple killer after he lied about his age to attend her school. Despite being four years older, Afghan Abdulrahimzai had falsely claimed he was 14 and that his parents had been killed by ...

View more: Triple killer asylum seeker Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai threatened me after lying about his age to go to my school

Marie Kondo revealed she's 'kind of given up' on being so tidy. People freaked out

Marie Kondo speaks at a media event in New York on July 11, 2018. Seth Wenig/AP hide caption toggle caption Seth Wenig/AP Marie Kondo, the queen of tidy, says her house isn’t so tidy anymore. “I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me,” ...

View more: Marie Kondo revealed she's 'kind of given up' on being so tidy. People freaked out

I won more than £650 after mysterious STRANGER placed winning bets on my phone – I want to give them £300 to say thanks

A PUNTER scooped up more than £650 after a stranger placed a string of winning bets on his lost phone. Chris Dennis misplaced the device while out boozing with pals at the Champion Of The Thames in Cambridge on January 16. Chris Dennis pocketed more than £650 after a ...

View more: I won more than £650 after mysterious STRANGER placed winning bets on my phone – I want to give them £300 to say thanks

I’m 16 and skipped college… now I have my own STORE – here’s how I did it

A TEENAGER has opened his own store at just 16 after deciding to pass on going to college. The ambitious teen, who lives with his parents in Alsagers Bank, runs the shop on his own every day. Josua Mancell-Chesters, 16, has opened his own shop MCS NutritionCredit: BPM Josua ...

View more: I’m 16 and skipped college… now I have my own STORE – here’s how I did it

We live in town with cheapest rent in UK – mouldy homes are on brink of collapse… others are turned into drug factories

AT the corner of two rubbish-strewn streets, which are dotted with boarded-up houses, sits a two-bedroom apartment which is currently on sale for just £1,000. Locals will tell you it's overpriced. This property in Hartlepool is for sale for just £1,000Credit: Glen Minikin Figures show that Hartlepool is one ...

View more: We live in town with cheapest rent in UK – mouldy homes are on brink of collapse… others are turned into drug factories

Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas for 10th Australian Open title

MELBOURNE, Australia —  Novak Djokovic was simply too good at the most crucial moments and claimed his 10th Australian Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title overall by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) in the final at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday night. The victory allows Djokovic to ...

View more: Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas for 10th Australian Open title

Fearne Cotton calls out trolls for 'judging' her body in mirror pic: 'I love food'

Fearne Cotton criticises online trolls for ‘judging’ her body after posting mirror selfie. (Getty Images) Fearne Cotton has responded to online trolls “judging” her body for being too slim after she posted a mirror selfie. The star, 41, defended her “knobbly knees” and “spindly ankles” from criticism in the ...

View more: Fearne Cotton calls out trolls for 'judging' her body in mirror pic: 'I love food'

Impractical Jokers' Murr Made A Movie (& It's Worse Than You Could Imagine)

How fear of fatness is turned into a horror movie

Jesse Marsch confident Patrick Bamford will be back to his best sooner rather than later

NYC Mayor Adams’ pal Robert Petrosyants named in sexual harassment lawsuit

Leonard Greene: Add stupid to the list of charges against the Memphis cops who beat Tyre Nichols to death

Can AI be used to help people with disabilities? Experts say yes, with the ‘right data set’

Quebec City mosque shooting: Ceremony to mark 6th anniversary of attack

Hit-and-run motorcylist who mowed down schoolgirl, 12, after jumping red light AVOIDS jail

Nadhim Zahawi is SACKED by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over tax row after ‘serious breach’

Document shows majority of federal affordable homes approved not yet constructed

Biden climate law spurred billions in clean energy investment. Has it been a success?

Utah's governor has signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth

OTHER NEWS