Com­mu­nity rais­ing funds for crash sur­vivors

Mother re­mains in coma while daugh­ter ‘prob­a­bly go­ing to be all right’

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION - RYAN RUM­BOLT — With files from The Cana­dian Press and Stephanie Babych RRum­[email protected]­media.com On Twit­ter: @RCRum­bolt

Cal­gary’s Al­ba­nian-Cana­dian com­mu­nity is com­ing to the aid of sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the Metko family, two of whom were killed in a col­li­sion with a moose and ve­hi­cle on an On­tario high­way last Sun­day.

Ilir Kuqi, pres­i­dent of the Al­ba­nian-Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Cal­gary, says Mar­alba Metko, whose hus­band and son were killed in the crash, is in crit­i­cal con­di­tion and re­mains in a coma while her nine-year-old daugh­ter Brianna is “prob­a­bly go­ing to be all right,” at least phys­i­cally.

The family was vis­it­ing On­tario, ahead of a planned move out east in com­ing weeks to be closer to family in Michi­gan, Kuqi said. But those plans were de­railed when their ve­hi­cle was struck by an on­com­ing SUV on Sun­day.

Po­lice said Fatos Metko, 45, and his son Fio­ralb Metko, 14, died when their ve­hi­cle struck a moose, crossed the cen­tre line and col­lided with an SUV on Hwy. 17 near Wawa, Ont., about 225 kilo­me­tres north of Sault Ste. Marie.

Mar­alba and Brianna were taken to hos­pi­tal with se­ri­ous in­juries.

Kuqi said the Metko family ’s loss has been felt by Al­ba­nian-Cana­di­ans across the coun­try, adding the Go­FundMe do­na­tions are the least the com­mu­nity can do to help.

“These tragic in­ci­dents are tough to hear about, es­pe­cially with chil­dren and a beau­ti­ful family in gen­eral,” he said.

With no im­me­di­ate family liv­ing in Cal­gary, Kuqi said a Go­FundMe page has been set up by friends of the Metkos in On­tario to help with fu­neral costs and to gather do­na­tions for Brianna’s ed­u­ca­tion fund.

“It’s re­ally, truly un­for­tu­nate be­cause we’re try­ing to fig­ure out what they’re go­ing to do,” Kuqi said. “The Al­ba­nian com­mu­nity here is go­ing to try to do ev­ery­thing they can, find and talk to any­one we can to help them out in any way, shape or form.”

The fundrais­ing page was cre­ated on Tues­day and has since col­lected more than $13,000.

“We ask for sup­port for this beau­ti­ful family in this ex­tremely un­for­tu­nate and dif­fi­cult time,” the page reads. “We ask the com­mu­nity to do­nate if they can and please share this fundraiser.”

Fatos worked as a chef at Bro­ken Plate Kitchen and Bar in Wil­low Park for nearly a decade, said Ervin Bushi, restau­rant owner and ex­ec­u­tive chef. Bushi, who knew him for eight years, said Fatos was a model em­ployee and was al­ways will­ing to lend other a hand.

“All you had to do was ask for help and he wouldn’t say no … He was a good ex­am­ple to all our em­ploy­ees,” said Bushi.

“Him and his wife, both hard work­ers, work­ing every day in the ser­vice in­dus­try and restau­rant in­dus­try, truly try­ing to give their kids the best. It’s bad to see him go like this.”

Two oc­cu­pants of the SUV, Cyn­thia Caraoa, 51, and Anika Caraoa, 9, of Win­nipeg, were also killed in the crash. Three other people in that ve­hi­cle were sent to hos­pi­tal with se­ri­ous in­juries.

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Fatos Metko, right, and his son Fio­ralb, left, were killed in a crash on Sun­day, while wife Mar­alba, is in a coma and daugh­ter, Brianna, was in­jured.

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