Communities in northeast Rocky View County are showing their support for a local family after a motor vehicle collision claimed the life of their nine-year-old son and hospitalized his 14-year-old brother.
On Aug. 19 at about 6 p.m., RCMP officers, Acme Fire Department members and emergency responders were called to the scene of a motor vehicle collision west of Acme. According to a press release from the Airdrie RCMP, the investigation determined a side-by-side carrying the two young brothers was travelling south on Range Road 264, when they entered Highway 575 and struck an SUV that was travelling east.
STARS air ambulance transported the 14-year-old passenger to a Calgary hospital, where he underwent surgery, but the nine-year-old was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.
A few days after the collision, Swalwell, Alta. resident Shannon Fox set up a Go Fund Me page for the Eddyvean family, who own and operate the Irricana Meat Market butcher shop.
“We have started this fundraiser so that they do not have to worry about any financial responsibilities or burdens as they focus on their son's healing and recovery, as well as the opportunity to grieve without any constraints,” stated the Go Fund Me description. “Any amount is greatly appreciated.”
As of Aug. 27, the Go Fund Me – which can be found by searching ‘Supporting the Eddyvean Family' – had generated more than $18,000 toward a $75,000 goal.
Reached on Aug. 24, Fox said she has known the Eddyvean family for years, having transported their children to school and sports tournaments as a bus driver for the Golden Hills School Division. She said she is also a regular patron of the Eddyvean’s business in Irricana, and as a local photographer in the area, regularly took photos at the boys’ baseball and hockey games.
She said the decision to support the family with the Go Fund Me page was obvious, and something other community members quickly jumped on board with.
“We were also shell-shocked and are right there grieving with the family,” Fox said, adding it’s not just the Acme community that is mourning the loss of the young boy, but also residents of Beiseker, Irricana, and Carbon, among others.
“It’s all of these communities these people’s lives have touched,” she said. “They’re some of the first people to volunteer [butcher] services or carcasses for just about anything anyone needs. They volunteer and donate leg bones to the Calgary Zoo. They’re just a great bunch of people, and this is going to require them a heck of a lot of healing.”
The Go Fund Me page is not the only support being shown to the Eddyveans, as a silent auction is being planned for Sept. 22 at the Acme Community Centre. Donations and items for the auction are being accepted at the Flying Monkey café at the Beiseker airport and the Acme Golf Course.
Fox added the community is also trying to set up a trust for the Eddyveans at the BMO in Acme, and the Carbon bottle depot is accepting can and bottle donations, with the proceeds going directly to the family.
“We’re very fortunate that we have some great people who have volunteered to do some things,” she said. “I can’t say highly enough about them.”
The Eddyveans are aware and appreciative of the community support being shown their way, according to Fox, but she and the family are requesting they be shown privacy in their time of grief.
“As of right now, it seems like it was so long ago, and it’s only been five days,” Fox said on Aug. 24. “They have a gaping hole in their lives where their little boy used to be. They have to navigate what that hole is going to look like, while also trying to make the health care decisions and support their son who is now in hospital. They have another child at home as well, who is going to need to be supported.”
With friends and classmates of the two boys starting up school again in September, the Golden Hills School Division and Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools have each offered counselling services to help students process the tragedy.