Donations are pouring in for a Rimbey couple who were injured and lost two of their three sons in a collision on Hwy 20 at about 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Angus and Rachel Dixon and their boys, Tristan, Lynus and Baillion, were heading to Red Deer for Christmas shopping when their vehicle collided with a northbound car that went out of control on the icy highway.
The driver of the oncoming car was killed in the crash, as was seven-year-old Tristan. Lynus, three, was airlifted to Calgary Children’s Hospital, but died of his wounds the next day.
Angus, Rachel and Baillion, 18 months, remain in hospital being treated for their injuries.
Originally from Chatham, Ont., Angus is a welder for a local manufacturer and a recently-recruited reservist with the 78 Field Battery in Red Deer.
“Rai” is a stay-at-home mom, formerly employed at a Rimbey sports equipment dealer. Her husband had become fast friends with the operators’ son.
Game-On Outdoors owners Jesse and Sandra Von Hollen and their son, Justin Skjornsberg, jumped into action as soon as they heard about the accident, setting up a fund with ATB Financial and starting an online auction to raise additional monies.
Customers were lined up in the shop on Christmas Eve, as word about the auction started to spread — thanks in part to Skjornsberg’s social media connections.
Skjornsberg confirmed on Wednesday that both parents suffered injuries that will make them unable to work for some time.
His and his family’s original goal was to raise enough money to cover funeral expenses and buy burial plots for Tristan and Lynus. They reached that goal in the first five hours, and have since been working on raising money to help Angus and Rai pay their living costs while they recover from their injuries.
“There are no words to describe the generosity that we’re seeing. It’s absolutely unreal. The way that it is going, they should be able not have to worry about bills or anything and should be able to just worry about grieving and healing both physically and spiritually.”
In a posting on his Facebook page, Skjornsberg describes the tragedy felt by himself and others in the community in which the Dixons had chosen to make their home:
“This is very near and dear to my heart. Not only are they my best friends, but I had just purchased Christmas gifts for the whole family,” he wrote.
“The family is not very well off to begin with, and now they have to go home to a Christmas tree with presents under it for the children who are no longer with us.”
Donations for the Dixon family fund are being accepted at all branches of ATB Financial. People interested in learning more about the auction are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rimbey RCMP have not released the name of the 53-year-old Mayerthorpe man who was killed in the crash.