Hinton family mourns death of toddler
Published Monday, July 2, 2012 5:45PM MDT Last Updated Monday, July 2, 2012 6:37PM MDT
A Hinton family is grieving after a toddler was fatally struck by a vehicle over the weekend.
Family members tell CTV News the two-year-old girl was with her mother and brother when a pickup truck hit the child’s stroller after 11 p.m. on Saturday.
A makeshift memorial of flowers, teddy bears and personal messages is growing at the spot where the toddler, identified by family as Gracie Allison McLaughlan, was hit.
Police say the driver of the truck was making a turn westbound onto Switzer Drive when it hit the stroller.
The child who was in the stroller at the time was rushed to hospital with serious injuries where she later died.
“Gracie, she couldn’t walk into a room without lighting it up,” said Ole Kjelland, the child’s uncle.
“[She was] just an adorable little red-headed girl you couldn’t help but love.”
The family had just moved to Alberta four months ago, with dreams of a better life.
Now they’re planning their youngest child’s funeral.
Two services are being planned. One will be held in Hinton and the other in New Brunswick.
A trust fund has been set up to help cover those costs.
“We’re just trying to lessen the hardship that they’re going to experience by getting some funds together so that they don’t have to incur the hardship of financial burden as well as the loss,” Kjelland said.
Police are still trying to figure out how the girl was hit.
They say the female driver of the truck has been co-operative and that speed and alcohol were not factors.
“In a situation like this, it’s always possible that charges will be laid but at this point in time I can’t determine what the end result of the investigation will be,” said Cpl. Dan Kooznetsoff with Hinton RCMP.
The Woodland Court Condo Board has had concerns with the growing amount of traffic in the area since 2005.
The condo board president tells CTV News they’ve been trying to get town council to install a large barrier that would help separate the complex from the road.
One resident says he’d like to see a sidewalk installed.
Donations for the family can be made under the name Gracie McLaughlan at any ATB Financial branch.
With files from Amanda Anderson