Ishikawa, 19, of North Vancouver, and her friend Kimberly
Brooks, 18, of Port Coquitlam, died immediately in a
rear-end crash at the Peace Arch border crossing, said a
Deas Island RCMP Highway Patrol spokesman.
Police say a speeding 1997 Pontiac Grand Am struck the back of Brooks' 1981 Honda Accord. Her car was stopped waiting in a line to clear customs into Canada at 9 p.m.
The Honda was dual fueled with natural gas and conventional gasoline, said Staff Sgt. Bern Jansen.
A police investigator said that at this time, there was no indication that the natural gas system failed or that the natural gas was the cause of the explosion. A mechanical inspection of the car is under way.
Witnesses estimated that the speeding Pontiac was going 112 to 160 km-h (70 to 100 mph) when it hit the Honda.
Police said that three other vehicles were damaged in a chain reaction following the fatal collision. One person sustained minor injuries and was treated at Peace Arch hospital.
The driver of the Pontiac Grand Am, Julia Campagna, 27, of Kirkland, Washington is charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
She appeared in Surrey provincial court on Monday and was remanded in custody for a psychiatric assessment.
Campagna is slated for a court hearing on June 15 to determine if she should be released from custody pending the outcome of her charges.
The father of the dead North Vancouver teenager, Cat Ishikawa, said his daughter had gone to Seattle to shop for things to take to Japan. Cat said his daughter, an only child, also wanted to buy CDs to listen to while on the plane to Japan.
Monique had planned to go to Japan today to visit relatives and friends for the first time in many years.
"She hadn't been there since she was really a child. She was basically an adult so she was making her first trip by herself to go back there," said Cat Ishikawa.
Monique Ishikawa was born at Grace Hospital. When Monique was two months old, her parents, Cat and Fuimyo, moved to Japan where they lived for about 10 years.
When the family returned to Canada, Monique attended Queen Mary and Brooksbank elementary schools. She graduated from Sutherland secondary last year. Monique was enrolled for fall classes at Capilano College at the time of her death.
Cat Ishikawa said his daughter talked about becoming a doctor. As a child, Monique lived with her ailing Japanese grandparents.
"She spent so much of her childhood around very ill people and she wanted to do something to combat that in her own life," said Cat Ishikawa.
A memorial service is slated for tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Boal Chapel of the First Memorial Funeral Services, 1505 Lillooet Rd.
In lieu of flowers, the Ishikawa family requests that donations be made to the B.C. SPCA in Monique's memory.