West Shore RCMP confirmed they were called to the sudden death of a 16-year-old boy on Sunday morning, and while officials have yet to formally release his name, friends have confirmed it was Dorrian Wright, a Grade 10 student at Belmont Secondary.
Const. Chris Dovell said the cause of death is still being examined, but it is not classified as suspicious.
The cause of death is a suspected overdose and Wright’s best friend remembers him as someone he could always count on, funny and spontaneous.
Kurtis Newell wasn’t just Wright’s best friend, he was also his foster brother for two-and-a-half years. Newell said Wright wasn’t a bad kid or a drug addict, but confirmed that he overdosed at a party.
“He was a great kid, he had a great life to live, he was always there for anybody that needed him.”
Newell reminisced about Wright’s sense of humor, and a time he came over for a sleepover and made his bed up in the closet and spent the night in it. He said he and Wright just “clicked”; both having lots of energy and liked to get outside and go to the skate park together.
“Ever since Dorrian moved into the house, it was awesome. He was always there for me and I was always there for him. We were always there for each other,” Newell said.
Earlier this year, Newell moved out of the foster house he shared with Wright and moved back in with his mom. The two were still inseparable, and Wright would go to Newell’s house to hang out or spend the night.
Newell said Wright even helped him get over a drug problem — Newell used to be a “downtown kid”, with a severe addiction to meth and crack.
“If it wasn’t for Dorrian, I probably wouldn’t be here right now.” he said. “He helped me so much, he came downtown with my brother, picked me up and took me back to Langford.”
For three weeks, while Newell was going through withdrawals, Wright never left his side, noting it’s hard to think about how much Wright helped him at that time. Newell said if he felt triggered to relapse, he would talk to Wright, and Wright was always there.
He helped Newell decorate his room with spray paint art, a reminder of his friend and comfort that his friend spent a lot of time with him at the house.
Newell said he feels as though he could have prevented Wright’s passing or that he should have protected him.
“I feel like if I was there, then he’d still be there today,” Newell said, noting he lived just a few doors down from the spot where Wright is believed to have died.
About a month and a half ago, Wright began spending time what Newell said is a known drug house, and he began seeing his friend less frequently.
Newell made the choice to stay away from the house, and noted that even when he was doing hard drugs he wouldn’t associate with the property.