One person is dead, and four others from the same family hospitalized, following a deadly weekend crash on the Coquihalla Highway.
The Bee family were travelling to visit family in Vancouver on Saturday, July 17, when Ron, the father, apparently suffered a stroke behind the wheel, according to a GoFundMe page set up by an aunt to support the family.
“As you can imagine this is a very challenging and emotional time for the Bee family. And as beloved members of our community, they need our help to navigate through this very difficult time,” said the aunt.
Peewee Fortuno, the grandmother, did not survive the crash; two children, Aila (eight-years old), and Maia (12-years old) were both hospitalized; Ron is unresponsive on one side of his body from the stroke; and Sheela, the mother, is recovering from surgery, the aunt said.
Sheela will make a full recovery in six to eight weeks, and Aila – although suffering from significant bruising, a broken arm and several broken ribs – will recover without the need for surgery.
Maia, however, has serious injuries to her spine, and internal injuries that need to be repaired before spinal surgery can take place, the page says.
“The team started to operate today but it was too risky due to stability issues (dangerously low blood pressure). Her road to recovery will be difficult, but I can tell you from her bedside that she has been very brave,” says the GoFundMe page.
“She was able to recite some of the Lord’s Prayer today with the priest before she went into the OR.”
The GoFundMe page has raised over $55,000 in a single day, with an initial goal of raising $50,000.
The crash occurred in the morning, approximately one kilometer north of Hope. Both north and southbound lanes were closed for a time while multiple Medevacs were called to the scene.