A horrific accident at a Middlesex center on Thursday claimed the lives of two people and left three others in hospital. A GoFundMe account was launched Friday to support the family of 17-year-old Aleah Van Erp who was killed in a car crash.
Police were called to the incident at Middlesex Center on Amiens Road, near Oxbow Drive and Melrose Drive, just after 10.30am on Thursday.
According to police, two people died in the accident and three others were taken to hospital, two of them with life-threatening injuries.
Police have not released any information about the victims, but one of the victims is 17-year-old Aleah Van Erp, according to the GoFundMe page.
“Aleah is full of energy and loves all things animals, nature, art, photography, crafts, her friends and family,” the GoFundMe wrote. “She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”
According to the fundraiser, the money raised will go to support the Van Erp family. As of Friday night, nearly $21,000 had been raised.
“Lola is tough, vivacious and playful, with a smile that can light up a room,” read her obituary, which her brother, Quintin Fentie, emailed to the Liberty Press. copy.
Ontario Provincial Police say three other people were injured when the crash occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Amiens Road, south of Melrose Drive in central Middlesex. Two of them were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and a fifth with less serious injuries, police said.
The three surviving teenagers are believed to be high school students from the Strathroy area. One of them remained in hospital as of Monday.
Fentie and Van Erp are Year 12 students at the Strathroy District Collegiate Institute. Lisa Metivier, a close friend of the Van Erp family, previously said the couple and one of the surviving teenagers “have been the perfect threesome since third grade”.
Fentie, an aspiring nurse and sister to two brothers, turns 17 this week. “She died seven days before her birthday,” said her older brother, Quentin.
Fentie, according to her obituary, “could make everything she did look effortless. She was a very hard worker and eager to get an education.”
A former work colleague described her as dependable and recalled her being “always smiling”.
“She has a really beautiful smile, and if you need someone to talk to, she’s there for you,” says Kate Bradley, who works with Fentie at Tim Hortons in Stella Roy.
Like Fentie, Van Erp has a passion for animals and plans to go to college to become a veterinary technician. Her family and friends have previously described Van Hopp as an “old soul” who loved photography and nature.
In an email to parents on Monday, Strathroy principal Stephanie Hambies said the school would offer face-to-face support on Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm.
“School social workers and counselors will be available to meet with groups and provide individual sessions for students and families,” Hambys wrote in an email, adding that members of the Canadian Mental Health Association will also be on hand.
Meanwhile, Fentie’s eldest cousin starts an online fundraiser to support her family. By late Monday afternoon, it had raised more than $14,000.
“Lola has a beautiful smile that seems to emanate from her soul, making her eyes sparkle,” her cousin Trish Rice wrote on the donation page.
“She will always be remembered and never forgotten,” she said.
There will be a visit from Fentie on Friday and a funeral on Saturday.
A visitation and funeral are planned for Van Erp on Wednesday, according to her obituary. Donations to Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation are appreciated, family members said.
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