Crash victims remembered
Adventure ends in a tragic accident

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 19/97) - Two 22-year-old men left Yellowknife last week bound for California on a trip of a lifetime. They never completed their journey.

Jason John Sorenson and James William Clark died in a fiery crash during a snowstorm near Grimshaw, Alta., March 11, on their way to meet Clark's girlfriend.

They died instantly when their truck crossed the centre line, hit a tractor trailer head-on and burst into flames.

Several hundred friends and relatives filled St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church Monday afternoon to say goodbye to Sorenson.

He was a person who usually had a smile on his face like he understood a punchline that no one else did, said Steven Voytilla, a close friend.

He was always there for me, said Marika Strader, a friend who met Sorenson at St. Pat's, where they both went to high school.

Sorenson had attended the University of Lethbridge and Clark was an apprentice chef, studying under Sato at The Office restaurant here in Yellowknife.

Sato described Clark as a loyal person who was more than just an employee to him.

"I sort of took him under my arm," he said. "He was more like a family member to me. We spent a lot of time together outside work."

Upon leaving Yellowknife last week, Sorenson and Clark were about to spend a vacation together with another school friend they had planned to meet in California.

Known as the three J's, the trio planned to enjoy some time together before Clark and his fiance started a new life in the western state.

Rev. Basil Boudreau, who presided over Monday's memorial service, highlighted the love that Sorenson shared with all those who were close to him.

Sorenson's family -- parents John and Jane and younger brother Robin -- sat in silence holding hands during Monday's service.

As it drew to a close, a soloist sang "Amazing Grace" while several hundred people silently left the church for the burial.

Funeral services for James William Clark, Jr.were to be held in Calgary at 3 p.m. on Thursday.