THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Family mourns 2 kids, paramedics mourn one of their own after Saskatchewan crash

A 15-month-old was among the dead

A family is grieving the deaths of two children as Canada’s paramedic community mourns the loss of one of its own, all three of whom died in the same crash on an icy highway in northern Saskatchewan.

Alexa LaRiviere-Laliberte, from the hamlet of Jans Bay, Sask., said her 15-month-old daughter, Kinzey, and her 12-year-old cousin died after the truck they were in collided with an ambulance. She wasn’t in the vehicle, she said, but her father was, and is still in hospital.

“My daughter was my dad’s sidekick. They were always together,” LaRiviere-Laliberte told The Canadian Press over Facebook on Sunday.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help cover the costs of the two funerals, as well as support family members who are staying hundreds of kilometres away from home to be with the others in hospital.

RCMP have said the crash happened on a highway near Beauval, Sask., late Friday afternoon between an ambulance and a truck, and that road conditions were poor with slush and ice-covered sections.

Police said a man in the ambulance, who was one of just two people in the vehicle, died after being brought to hospital. They said a boy and a girl were also killed in the crash. Investigators initially said the children were among five people in the truck, but later said that in fact only four people were inside.

In Toronto on Saturday night, the Ontario Paramedics Association observed a moment of silence at its provincial banquet dinner and then raised funds for colleagues in Saskatchewan affected by Friday’s crash.

Ambulance services and other first-responder groups in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada also posted messages of condolence on social media.

“A small community, a paramedic, two young children. Absolutely devastating,” Saskatoon Search and Rescue tweeted over the weekend.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority said in a news release that the ambulance was from Meadow Lake EMS and was responding to a call at the time.

“The part that people don’t get is, yes, we respond to calls like this every day. But you have to think that there’s another paramedic present on that unit who’s put in the position to treat their partner, and the occupants of the other vehicle,” Ontario Paramedics Association president Darryl Wilton said in an interview Sunday.

Wilton explained that the association’s banquet dinner traditionally opens with a ceremony to remember fallen members. But this year, after the moment of silence and a piper playing “Amazing Grace,” he said everyone in the room sang “O Canada.”

“To be there and feel that was incredible. It really brought people together,” he said.

Wilton noted that families of first responders who have died as a result of their duties are now eligible to receive the Memorial Grant Program for First Responders, a one-time lump sum, tax-free direct maximum payment of $300,000 from the federal government.

But he said money that his association collected could help family in the interim. Also, he said the deceased paramedic’s partner was affected and may have financial needs. He said his group has also asked Saskatchewan colleagues to reach out to the family of the other vehicle to see if they need assistance.

Police say they’re still investigating the crash, but say alcohol is not considered a factor.

—By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

60 middle school students in one Abbotsford classroom? It’s true, stunned parent is told

Parent says she was in disbelief when her son told her he was in a class with 60 other kids

Three Abbotsford candidates so far come forward for provincial election

Mike de Jong, Simon Gibson and Bruce Banman to toss hats in ring

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

Shots fired into unoccupied vehicle in Abbotsford

Incident occurred Saturday night on Upper Maclure Road

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Former worker at Surrey brewery claims he was bullied on the job

Human rights complaint to be heard against Surrey’s Central City Brewers and Distillers Ltd.

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Most Read