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Student laid to rest

<p>A well-worn pair of Mark MacDonald’s boots sat atop the flower arrangement that adorned his coffin yesterday — a symbol, his older brother said, that “Mark would have wanted us all to move on.”</p>

Hundreds mourn driver in fatal SUV-bus crash that killed three



TIM WIECLAWSKI/METRO OTTAWA


Hugh MacDonald receives condolences yesterday in Arnprior following the funeral for his son Mark MacDonald, inset, who died after the SUV he was driving struck a city bus last week in Ottawa.





A well-worn pair of Mark MacDonald’s boots sat atop the flower arrangement that adorned his coffin yesterday — a symbol, his older brother said, that “Mark would have wanted us all to move on.”





“But as we march on, we will remember the qualities that made him special,” said Simon MacDonald.





Hundreds of mourners packed Glad Tidings Pentecostal Church in Arnprior yesterday for the funeral of MacDonald, the 20-year-old Carleton University student who was driving the SUV that struck an OC Transpo bus early Wednesday morning. MacDonald and two of his four passengers — Vanessa Crawford and Brianne Deschamps, both 19 — died at the scene.





MacDonald’s family remembered a young man known as an athlete, a committed student, and a “fun-loving guy.”





His father, Hugh, recalled a recent trip to Scotland that saw Mark choosing to spend New Year’s Eve sitting and talking with him while everyone else was out celebrating.





“It was something really close to just spend the evening with Mark. It was my last day with him ...” said Hugh MacDonald, grief cutting off his words.





He thanked friends and family for their support and asked that they pray for Ben Gardiner, a passenger in the SUV who is still recovering in hospital, and for the families of Crawford and Deschamps, who were buried last week in Sarnia.





TIM WIECLAWSKI/METRO OTTAWA


Mark MacDonald’s casket was decorated by a favourite pair of boots he wore almost all the time.





Mark’s trip to Scotland was also the last time his uncle, Eric MacDonald saw him. His fondest memories of his nephew involved their shared passion for horse racing. The two had travelled to the Kentucky Derby together every year since Mark was 13.





“I’ll go this year, and Mark will be in my mind as they play ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’” he said.





Andrew MacDonald said his youngest brother possessed a strong intellect and a genuine interest in everyone he met.





“He would look people in the eye and show an interest in a way that made everyone he was talking to feel special,” he said.





Friend Matt Robinson knew MacDonald since early childhood and said he would miss him. “He will not be written about in hundreds of history books, but it was really good knowing him and I thank his parents for raising him,” he said.





City police said yesterday the investigation into the cause of the crash at Heron Road and Riverside Drive is ongoing.




tim.wieclawski@metronews.ca

 
 
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