Community raising funds for crash survivors
Mother remains in coma while daughter ‘probably going to be all right’
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.
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.