The community of Withrow, Alberta is rallying behind the family of three young sisters who died in a tragic farming accident on Tuesday evening.
The three girls, Catie, Dara and Jana Bott, were playing on a grain truck loaded with canola when they were buried in the grain at their family farm in Withrow, Alberta.
“Their faith is very important to them and there is a comfort in knowing their daughters are in heaven right now,” said family friend and Pastor Brian Allan. “We believe they are with the Lord today.”
Adults at the farm rescued the children from the grain and began CPR.
RCMP officers and emergency crews responded around 6:15 p.m., but were unable to revive the 11-year-old and 13-year-old girls. Another 11-year-old girl, taken to the Stollery Children’s Hospital by STARS air ambulance in critical condition, died of her injuries.
“This is hitting all of us very hard,” said Rocky Mountain House RCMP Sgt. Mike Numan. “Frontline responders are routinely called out to sad situations, but things are always harder for everyone when kids are involved.”
“I just want to say, like all Albertans, when I heard about this incredibly tragic accident, my heart went out to the family,” said Premier Rachel Notley. “My thoughts are very much with them. It was a horrible thing I think all Albertans share that feeling and that support.”
Victim Services in Rocky Mountain House was called to help the family.
Withrow, Alberta is about 62 kilometres northwest of Red Deer.
Statement from the girls’ family:
“Our kids died living life on the farm, it is a family farm. We do not regret raising and involving our kids Catie, age 13 – Dara, age 11, and Jana, age 11 on our farm. It was our life! Thank you for all of the overwhelming support we have received from the first responders, neighbours and friends. We would ask the media to respect our privacy at this time of grief. “
Statement from Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier:
“My thoughts are with the family of the three girls who died in the Hamlet of Withrow and my heart aches for them today. As a father myself, I believe no parent should have to bear the loss of a child. I join Albertans in expressing grief and sympathy for the parents of these girls as they go through this unimaginable sorrow.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Bott family by family friends Dave Brand and Pam Koenig. On Wednesday afternoon, more than $2,000 had already been raised.
Source: CTV News