Takes a vil­lage

Com­mu­nity ral­lies around fam­ily of child killed in ve­hi­cle col­li­sion in Belle Plaine

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH LADIK

While the say­ing usu­ally goes that it takes a vil­lage to raise a child, the tragic events of this week have prompted one com­mu­nity to come to­gether to bury one.

On Mon­day evening, a seven-year-old was killed when an SUV and a car col­lided on High­way 1 near Belle Plaine.

Po­lice have not re­leased the names of the peo­ple in­volved, but those who knew them have turned out on social me­dia to mourn their loss and to raise money for the fam­ily.

Meadow McEl­ravey has been iden­ti­fied as the child who was killed and Tr­isha Healey as her mother who was in­jured in the crash and taken to hospi­tal.

An adult male, who was driv­ing the other ve­hi­cle in­volved, was also taken to hospi­tal with un­known in­juries.

Leah Barnard is the recre­ation co­or­di­na­tor for the com­mu­nity of Grand Coulee, where the fam­ily re­sides, as well as Meadow’s and Healey’s neigh­bour.

“The re­sponse has been crazy,” she told the Times-Her­ald on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

“Be­tween my phone blow­ing up, and my best friend is our town ad­min­is­tra­tor who is col­lect­ing money as well, it’s grow­ing. It’s as­ton­ish­ing.”

Barnard said she is work­ing on or­ga­niz­ing a time when peo­ple can come to the town of­fice af­ter 5 p.m. to con­trib­ute if they wish, ei­ther Thurs­day or Fri­day evening.

In ad­di­tion to com­mu­nity mem­bers col­lect­ing money for any and all costs aris­ing from the in­ci­dent, there is a Go Fund Me cam­paign run­ning to raise money for Meadow’s fu­neral. It had reached $6,600 of its $10,000-goal in just 17 hours.

“If you met Meadow at any point in her 7 3/4 years you would re­mem­ber her, she was light, she was in­fec­tious,” the cre­ator of the cam­paign wrote, not­ing that Meadow would have been eight in a mat­ter of weeks.

“It didn’t mat­ter what mood you were in or what you were go­ing through, she would do what she had to in order to make you smile. Her en­ergy and her wild hair and big brown eyes left you in awe of her.”

The text also states that Healey works in Moose Jaw and that her in­juries will pre­vent her from re­turn­ing to work for some time.

The money raised will be put to­wards fu­neral costs, bills, food and park­ing at the hospi­tal, as well as to sup­port fam­ily mem­bers trav­el­ling to the area as a re­sult of the loss, among other things.

Po­lice have not re­leased any fur­ther in­for­ma­tion since the ini­tial state­ment about the ac­ci­dent, but Sgt. Earl LeBlanc with the RCMP’s me­dia team told the Times-Her­ald that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing. A spe­cial­ist in ve­hi­cle col­li­sion re­con­struc­tions has been called in to as­sist, and re­sults of this kind of work can take up to three months to come through.

What­ever the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the re­al­ity right now is that a fam­ily and com­mu­nity are in mourn­ing. Barnard, how­ever, is not sur­prised at the out­pour­ing of sup­port she has wit­nessed.

“We have roughly 250 houses, over 600 peo­ple liv­ing here,” she said. “It doesn’t mat­ter what our com­mu­nity needs to gather for, they al­ways come to­gether.”

Any­one look­ing to do­nate may con­tact Leah Bar­man at 306-533-5587, email trans­fer funds di­rectly to to­bi_ duck@hot­mail.com, or con­trib­ute to the Go Fund Me Cam­paign at https://www. go­fundme.com/mead­owtr­isha­fund.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tr­isha Healey, left, and daugh­ter Meadow McEl­ravey.

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