Pol­ish en­voy touched again by tragedy

Two chil­dren of am­bas­sador, cousin killed in crash

Ottawa Citizen - - CITY - BY JEN­NIFER CAMP­BELL

Pol­ish am­bas­sador Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz was plan­ning to be in Poland on Thurs­day, but he ended up go­ing three days early af­ter learn­ing that both of his chil­dren and one of their cousins had died in a car ac­ci­dent.

His chil­dren, Michal, 19, and Maria, 15, were in Poland with a cousin from Oshawa, vis­it­ing relatives. Their Cana­dian cousin, whose first name is Syl­wia (the em­bassy in Ot­tawa didn’t have a last name as of Tues­day), was also in the ve­hi­cle that col­lided with a trans­port truck and went up in flames. All three died at the scene.

When the mem­bers of the Kosiniak-Kamysz fam­ily moved to Canada ear­lier this year, they dis­cov­ered dis­tant relatives in Oshawa, and this sum­mer the chil­dren went to Poland to show Syl­wia their home coun­try and to in­tro­duce her to ex­tended fam­ily, said Syl­wia Domisiewicz, the press and pro­to­col of­fi­cer at Poland’s em­bassy in Ot­tawa. “ We just learned to­day that (cousin Syl­wia) was Cana­dian,” she said.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred in Lagow, Swi­etokrzyskie, about 200 kilo­me­tres south of War­saw, where the am­bas­sador and his wife, Katarzyna, were to land Tues­day.

“The am­bas­sador was sup­posed to go to War­saw Thurs­day for the an­nual am­bas­sadors meet­ing, and he was sup­posed to meet ( his chil­dren) then,” Domisiewicz said.

In­stead, he and his wife had a short visit from the pas­tor of St. Hy­acinth Pol­ish Church be­fore board­ing a plane to War­saw.

Domisiewicz ex­pects there will be a me­mo­rial ser­vice in Ot­tawa for the chil­dren, pro­vided the Kosini­akKamyszs re­turn to their post­ing af­ter the fu­neral in Poland.

“At this point, we don’t know what they will de­cide to do,” she said. “It’s hard to say, but I ex­pect they will come back.”

Maria was a stu­dent at Colonel By Sec­ondary School, and Michal was study­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Ot­tawa.

This was the sec­ond tragedy to have be­fallen the am­bas­sador this year.

As a high-rank­ing diplo­mat in Poland’s for­eign ser­vice, Kosini­akKamysz knew many of those killed when a plane car­ry­ing Poland’s gov­ern­ing elite crashed in Rus­sia on its way to Katyn to at­tend a me­mo­rial to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of atroc­i­ties in which thou­sands of Pol­ish pris­on­ers were killed and dumped in un­marked graves by the Soviet se­cret po­lice in 1940.

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