Calgary's Albanian community rallying behind family of motorcycle crash victim

A 36-year-old Calgary father killed in a motorcycle crash last week left behind three children.

And his wife remains in hospital with multiple serious injuries.

“It’s hard … I can’t imagine now that I can’t see him anymore,” said Debatik Cermjani, the victim’s older brother. 

Last Tuesday, Kreshnik Cermjani, who was known as Nick, and his wife, Ermira Cermjani — who was a passenger on his motorcycle — were on their way home from dinner when they were involved in a crash just before 11 p.m. 

According to Calgary Police, a Yamaha motorcycle was headed northbound on 14th Street N.W. At the same time, a Honda CRV was travelling southbound and turned onto eastbound 20th Avenue N.W.

Police said the vehicles collided in the intersection and both caught fire. 

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash but are looking into speed and alcohol as factors.

The driver of the SUV was not injured. 

The couple has three children, ages 11, 14 and 16.

“For his wife, she’s in hospital and she’s surviving, she’s fighting with her life and now she knows that Nick’s passed away and she’s worried for kids," said Debatik.

Nick moved to Calgary 15 years ago from Kosovo.

Debatik said they were inseparable, working together as painters.

The two brothers even married twin sisters and have had kids around the same ages. 

“It’s [a] shock for everyone, I can’t imagine now to go forward without Nick,” said Debatik. 

Nick was well known in Calgary’s tight-knit Albanian community and among those who played soccer. 

The Albanian Canadian Association of Calgary has launched an online fundraiser to support the family.

“It’s the entire community’s loss, everyone knew Nick, he was a passionate father, a hard worker, he cared about his family a lot,” said Ilir Kuqi, president of the Albanian Canadian Association of Calgary.

Kuqi said donations have come in from members of the community and those who knew the family through their work and soccer.

“What we hope for in the funds is to really help them in some shape or form help those kids to be able to have the best life possible for them,” said Kuqi.

Debatik, who has four children of his own says it's now his mission to support his niece and nephews. 

“I know what Nick wanted for them. I’m going to try to do the same thing," he said.