Coquihalla crash: Grandmother killed, children and parents hospitalized with serious injuries
An online fundraiser has already brought in nearly $30,000 for the survivors of a crash on B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway over the weekend.
Mounties from the Hope detachment said a woman in her 70s is dead and four others -- two adults and two children -- were in hospital after a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 5.
The crash happened Saturday morning, just after 8:30, in the highway's southbound lanes.
Police say the woman who was killed died at the scene, while the others were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Some of those injuries were considered life-threatening, according to Mounties.
Officials have not identified anyone involved in the collision, the cause of which is still under investigation, but an online fundraising page named the group as the Bee family.
According to the fundraiser, the family was on its way to Vancouver to visit relatives at the time, when the man driving had a stroke. He drove off the road at high speed, the fundraising page says, adding this has not been confirmed by those investigating the crash.
The page identifies the survivors as Ron, Sheela, Maia and Aila, and says all four were airlifted to hospitals in Vancouver.
The page on GoFundMe.com says the woman who died was Peewee Fortunado, Sheela's mother.
According to organizers, Ron, who is believed to have had a stroke, can respond to "yes" and "no" questions, but is non-responsive on one side of his body.
Sheela required surgery for undisclosed injuries and is recovering in hospital.
Eight-year-old Aila has bruising from her seatbelt, as well as a broken arm and several broken ribs, according to the fundraising page, but is "recovering well."
Maia, age 12, has a spinal injury, as well as some internal injuries requiring surgery, according to the page.
"Her road to recovery will be difficult, but I can tell you from her bedside that she has been very brave. She was able to recite some of the Lord's Prayer today with the priest before she went to the (operating room)," a woman identifying herself as Linnae Worthington, or "Auntie Nae," wrote.
Organizers of the fundraiser say the money brought in will help cover the costs of Peewee's funeral, as well as lost wages and other expenses during the family's recovery.
With files from The Canadian Press