Carla Chambers Jeffreys and Bob Chaylt Jeffreys’ family were involved in a collision on Wednesday, August 7 when a semi-trailer struck the back of their SUV near Oyen, Alta. It left one of their sons dead and seriously injured the rest of the family.
A B.C. father says his young family faces a “very long” period of recovery after the horrific crash that claimed the life of his 10-year-old son in southeastern Alberta last week.“I am shaken to my core from our loss and pray that we can heal after all of this,” Bob Chaylt Jeffreys posted on Facebook, thanking those who have supported the family.His wife, Carla Chambers Jeffreys, and their three children, Lillian, 8, Gabriel, 7, and 10-year-old Zachary, who died at the scene, were also involved in the crash last Wednesday near Oyen, about 300 kilometres east of Calgary. All of the surviving family members suffered serious injuries.“I cannot express my appreciation properly at this time. Carla and Gabriel have been hurt very badly, we would appreciate everyone praying for them. Once they successfully complete surgery, their road to recovery is going to be very long.”Hundreds of people are helping the family to cover funeral and medical expenses following the collision.An online fundraising campaign had generated more than $52,000 as of Sunday afternoon, with about 500 individual donations, surpassing the original $50,000 goal. That target has been increased to $100,000 as the gravity of the accident becomes more clear.According to RCMP, the collision involved two semi-trailer units and an SUV.Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday on Highway 9 at Range Road 60, northwest of Oyen, the SUV stopped behind one semi-trailer unit that was stopped for construction, and then a second semi-trailer unit, travelling in the same direction, slammed into the back of the SUV.In an update posted to the online GoFundMe page, it said Carla sustained a broken leg, pelvis, femur, ribs and torn aorta in the accident. It said Gabriel had to have an eye removed after sustaining significant facial injuries in addition to internal injuries, and Bob suffered a concussion, stitches and broken shoulder. Lillian endured a fracture to her head.“(Carla) is undergoing surgery again this morning and she will need at least 2 or 3 more surgeries to fix her pelvis and leg. Carla is and has always been strong and an inspiration to many, but she needs support now more than ever,” said Mary Tumbach, a family friend who created the online fundraising campaign. “The family will need to find a resting place for Zachary fitting of man gifts, integrity, and depth of character. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers for the coming months, possibly years,” the post continued.The family was travelling across Canada to relocate to St. Catharines, Ont., from Vancouver.The fundraising page states money would help cover immediate costs, in addition to therapy and counselling.Another family friend, Miranda Lynn, created a dedicated Facebook page to share photos, stories and memories of the family.“Please help with a small donation if you can. Anything helps. They need family by their side right now and we don’t want them worried about finances,” she wrote in a status update.“I’m hoping my friends and family in Calgary can help me find a way to ease some of their pain.”