Candlelight vigil held for victims of farmworker crash

Event commemorates the lives lost and ongoing fight for farmworkers' safety

A groundbreaking was held on Saturday for the Golden Tree

A groundbreaking was held on Saturday for the Golden Tree

A candlelight vigil was held Saturday to commemorate the lives lost and the ongoing fight for farmworkers’ safety issues eight years after the crash of a van transporting farmworkers crashed and killed three women on Highway 1 in Abbotsford.

The vigil was held in the International Friendship Garden on the north side of Clearbrook Library.

Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, Amarjit Bal, and Sukhvinder Kaur Punja were killed when the van they were travelling in flipped early in the morning of March 7, 2007. Despite carrying 17 passengers, the van had just two seatbelts, one seat consisted only of a wooden bench and its tires were in poor condition and not properly inflated. Police at the time described the crash as “catastrophic.”

A groundbreaking was also held for the the Golden Tree, a 22-foot-tall sculpture of an apple tree with gold burnished apples and branches that twist into the images of three women.

While more than $200,000 has already been donated, the campaign still needs around $20,000 to reach its goal. Donations can be made through an account at Abbotsford Community Services and receipts for tax purposes are available.

For more information, visit www.goldentree.ca.