Charges laid after young woman, two children die in highway crash
Published Friday, March 22, 2013 10:09AM MDT Last Updated Friday, March 22, 2013 6:28PM MDT
A man has been charged after a highway collision near Westlock, Alta. Thursday that killed a young woman and two children.
Westlock RCMP say the collision occurred around 11 a.m. Thursday on Highway 44 about 85 kilometres north of Westlock.
Police say a northbound Dodge truck collided head-on with a southbound Ford car.
A 23-year-old woman, a four-year-old girl and a one-year-old boy in the car were killed in the crash.
They have been identified on social media as 23-year-old Christine Michaud, her four-year-old niece Hailie and one-year-old nephew Trent.
"We had experienced more in our relationship than most experience in their whole lives and I want you to know you will never be forgotten," writes Michaud's boyfriend Thomas Larson, in a message posted to Facebook.
Michaud's sister-in-law Eran and another young nephew who were also in the car were seriously injured and taken to hospital.
"How do we move on from losing two kids and an awesome sister," says a Facebook post from the page of Jeff and Eran Michaud.
The family was living in Slave Lake and Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinee said the deaths are a loss for the community.
"They're long-standing members in the community. The family lived in the community for many years," Pillay-Kinee said.
"It's just extremely tragic and our hearts go out to the families that have been impacted."
The family was originally from Grand Falls, New Brunswick.
That community is also mourning the loss.
"I've seen some communication on Facebook, obviously the younger community is finding this hard," Grand Falls Mayor Richard Keeley tells CTV News.
"My daughter was upse this morning. She had a connection."
Police say highway conditions at the time of the crash were poor due to heavy snow and low visibility.
An RCMP Collision Analyst was called to the scene.
Police have ruled out alcohol as a factor in the crash.
The driver of the truck has been identified as 46-year-old man Matthew Darren Kanzig, of Slave Lake.
Kanzig is charged with three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
He is scheduled to appear in court on March 27.
Westlock is located approximately 86 kilometres north west of Edmonton.
With files from Bill Fortier