Takes a village
Community rallies around family of child killed in vehicle collision in Belle Plaine
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_ email@example.com, or contribute to the Go Fund Me Campaign at https://www. gofundme.com/meadowtrishafund.
Trisha Healey, left, and daughter Meadow McElravey.