A tragic car accident on Sunday has left the community of West Linn mourning the loss of two teens. The grief and the sadness could be felt all across the city Monday as news of the accident spread.

The world lost 18-year-old Hayden Soyk on Sunday night and 17-year-old Maddi Higgins passed away Monday night. We send our condolences to their friends and family.

We have always known West Linn is a strong community filled with kind, generous and caring people. It is one of the reasons why people not only move to West Linn, but choose to stay in West Linn. But those qualities truly shined this week with the outpouring of support.

In the day of social media, it was easy to see how much Hayden and Maddi meant to the community. Their names, their photos and amazing messages of strength, prayer and support spread like wildfire on the Internet.

But the support wasn’t only over the Internet.

Island Sam’s, the restaurant where Hayden worked, held a vigil on Monday night, as well as did West Linn High School students on the football field. Hundreds of people came. Hundreds of people connected. Hundreds of people supported one another. Candles were lit. Prayers were said. Tears were shed. Hugs were shared. People connected.

We are proud to represent the residents of West Linn as a City Council. But we are even more proud to be your neighbors, your friends and your family. West Linn is an amazing community.

As one person wrote on Twitter Tuesday night after the WLHS candlelight vigil: “More than just a town. More than just a community. West Linn is a family.”

We have a rough road ahead of us as we continue to feel the sadness of the loss of Hayden and Maddi. But we know the community will stay strong, watch out for each other and take care of each other.

John Kovash, mayor

Jody Carson, council president

Mike Jones, councilor

Jenni Tan, councilor

Thomas Frank, councilor