NANTON — The lives of three Calgary childhood friends on a road trip to celebrate a birthday were cut short after a head-on crash that also killed a mother.
The woman’s six-month-old baby girl, found strapped into a car seat, is the sole survivor of the two-car collision that happened Saturday on Highway 2 about 75 kilometres south of Calgary.
Mounties have not released the name of the baby’s mother pending notification of family.
The baby only suffered minor cuts and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Joilinn Edgar, 19, Cayley Chapman, 18, and Emma Ransom, 19, were in a northbound car that lost control around a corner just north of Nanton.
Edgar sent a text message to her boyfriend at 12:08 p.m. Saturday letting him know they had just passed Nanton and would be home soon, said her dad Ron Edgar.
That was the last anyone heard from the girls, who had driven to Lethbridge for a friend’s birthday party Friday night, he said.
Edgar, a high school honours student who was working as a receptionist with plans to attend university, was excited about her future, said parents Ron and Lisa Edgar.
“She was at a very happy time of her life — she was such a beautiful young woman,” said Ron.
“They grew up together and it’s just such a tragedy.”
Chapman’s family is drawing on their Christian faith to cope with the enormous grief.
Chapman, who worked at Christian camps and as a Sunday school teacher, was a student at Mount Royal University and aspired to be a child psychologist.
“There is no greater loss for a parent than that of their child and there is no greater comfort than in knowing that Cayley loved God and is now safe in His arms,” the Chapman family said in a written statement.
“Our hearts go out to all the families and friends of those who have lost their loved ones in this tragic accident. We sorely miss our lovely girl.”
Family friend Ian Wilson said Chapman was the family “fashionista” and worked at a vintage clothing shop.
“She was just a beautiful girl — just one of those people that when she walked into a room you definitely felt that energy lift,” he said.
Ransom was studying to be a dental assistant and is remembered by her family for being “genuine, honest and full of life.”
“Although brief, Emma’s life touched so many people in so many positive ways,” the Ransom family said in a written statement.
“Her spirit will always be missed and never forgotten.”
Edgar had been travelling home Saturday to attend the funeral of Jackson Henuset, 2, the grandson of Wayne Henuset, who owns Willow Park Wines and Spirits. Jackson drowned Nov. 15 at a vacation property in Florida.
The car crossed the grassy centre median and collided with a southbound vehicle that was carrying a Calgary woman and her baby.
All four women were pronounced dead at the scene.
Mounties are trying to determine what caused the tragic chain of events, but said speed and alcohol were not factors.