The Maskwacis community is in mourning after losing three residents in a highway collision last week.
Samson Cree Nation Coun. Vinnie Saddleback said his cousin Kevin Montour and wife, Lisa, from Samson Cree Nation died after a pickup truck collided with a motorcycle on Hwy 2A and Hwy 611. Ermineskin Cree Nation’s Tammy Bolstad subsequently died after she left the truck to help and was struck by another vehicle.
Saddleback said he is in shock, and the Montour family is “taking it hard.” The four nations that form Maskwacis are in mourning, but they’re supporting one other.
“The community is definitely feeling it.”
Saddleback said Kevin Montour was a role model and a safety advocate who taught Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and other safety classes. He was an entrepreneur who provided employment in the community.
“He rode motorcycle all his life, and he was safety conscious, and that’s why the (First) Nation was shocked that he got into an accident, so this is quite shocking,” said Saddleback.
“He was just a free spirit and that’s what people loved about him, he was a free, open spirit.”
Police were called around 10:34 p.m. April 26 when a pickup truck travelling northbound on Highway 2A, attempted a turn onto Highway 611 west and collided with a motorcycle travelling southbound. Police said the two riders were thrown from their motorcycle.
Police said the driver and passenger of the pickup exited the vehicle to help. That’s when a SUV travelling southbound on Highway 2A ran into the initial collision scene.
Sheri-Lynne McGilvery, said her aunt Lisa and uncle Kevin have three sons, a daughter and four grandchildren.
McGilvery described her aunt as “a sweetheart, so giving, so selfless.”
Saddleback described Bolstad, who was also his cousin on his mom’s side, as someone who was devoted to her community.
She was a community volunteer, and an advocate, Saddleback said, after attending her funeral Monday.
“She volunteered her time for anything within the Ermineskin community,” he said.
Both Saddleback and McGilvery said the three will be missed immensely by family members and the community.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Montours to help with funeral and expenses for their children. The page had raised $410 out of its goal of $1,500 by Monday afternoon.
The couple’s funeral is Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Native Full Gospel Fellowship in Maskwacis.
Maskwacis RCMP Staff Sgt. Simon McDermott offered his condolences to “all the families affected by this terrible incident.
“A tragic collision of this nature hits the Maskwacis community hard,” he said in a news release.
The RCMP and their Victim Services Units from both Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin, as well as the Urgent Mental Health Unit, are providing support to community members.
RCMP are investigating the collision.