Tragedy. That's the word many have been using in the aftermath of a fatal highway crash south of Hanna on Wednesday, August 16 that killed three children.
Corporal Gerald Sherk heads up the Hanna RCMP detachment, which responded to the intersection of Highways 36 and 570 shortly before 6:00 p.m.
"The first thing that everyone's concerned with is the victims, the surviving parents, and making sure everyone's getting the appropriate care," he outlined. "Then we get to the next step, trying to find family members that can help the parents along. I can't even imagine what they would be going through, losing all three children."
RCMP say a westbound SUV was hit by a southbound semi-trailer when it entered the intersection. The collision knocked the smaller vehicle into the southwest ditch. The 44 year old male driver and a 32 year old woman were rushed to hospital in Calgary,
A 16 year old girl, her 11 year old brother and baby sister were all in the back seat and were pronounced dead at the scene.
"The father was notified, and the mother: they're both in stable condition at Foothills (Hospital)," noted Sherk. "We're still trying to make contact with some other family that can help with what the parents are going to go through."
He conceded it's not just the victims' parents and the driver of the semi that will need help getting over this.
"We have various systems in place to help deal with the traumatic incidents: debriefings that we can go over the incident; we have access to mental health care through sports psychologists. I know EMS has very similar systems and fire as well, but we try to include everybody as a group because we all experience some of the same things when we go to these types of scene."
It has been confirmed that the victims were visiting Alberta from Washington State. There is no plan to release any of their names.