A crash involving a family in Red Deer on Wednesday killed a mother and her newborn baby and left a third person in serious condition.
It’s the third major crash involving family in less than a week in the city, according to Alberta’s Serious Collision Investigation Team.
The crash occurred in the area of 17th Avenue and St. Albert Street, near the intersection of 16th Avenue S.E. and 16th Street S.W. near the entrance to the Red Deer Community Centre.
Red Deer Fire Service said a white four-door vehicle traveling eastbound on 17th Street was travelling eastbound when it struck a tree at the intersection.
The driver was transported to hospital with minor injuries.
Redford resident and father of two Joshua Purdy, 33, was driving the family’s van, and was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Redwood City resident Jodi Miller, 31, was riding in the family van.
Redfire resident Michelle Anderson, 27, was also in the van and taken to Red Deer General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I’m just so happy,” Purdy told CBC News.
“It’s just a miracle, and I’m just thankful that we have all these amazing people out here, all the good things that are happening, and that we’re not doing this in our community and this is just something that we can’t take away from.”
Purdy and his wife, Rachel Purdy-Purdy, had been living in Redwood Township for about a year when they purchased a two-bedroom home in the township.
Rachel Purdy-Pierce said they were looking for a home with a nice backyard, and their family had a dog, which they brought along with them.
“We thought it would be fun to move up to Redwood,” she said.
“That’s why we did it, because there’s nothing better than having a dog.
It makes everything so much better.”
Rachel Purden-Powers said the couple has lived in the town for about four years, and had no previous issues with traffic or other issues in the community.
“There were some things that were a little bit hard at first because we didn’t have our driveway locked down, but we’ve been a little more careful,” she told CBC.
“You know, we’ve done everything that you can do to make it as easy as possible.”
Rachel said she doesn’t believe the collision was intentional.
“Honestly, I don’t think there’s a reason for it,” she added.
Rachel and Joshua had been in Redford for about two months, and said they hadn’t been to their home in years.
Rachel said the family didn’t know exactly when they would be back.
“They’re just so nice and they’re really helpful,” she recalled.
“So, it’s really sad.”
The Red Deer community centre was locked down as police investigated the crash.
Redriver Mayor Jeff O’Neill said in a release that Red Deer police are assisting with the investigation and are assisting local authorities.
Red River is about 120 kilometres southeast of Calgary.
Redbridge Police are investigating.
Red Creek Township said on its Facebook page that it is aware of the incident and is assisting with any inquiries.
“The Red Deer Police Department is currently assisting with an investigation into an incident that occurred in Red Creek today,” the post said.
Red Valley resident Sarah St. Germain said she was out of town when she heard about the crash on Wednesday morning.
She said she had been out of the area for about three weeks.
“Just really surprised.
It seems like it’s pretty rare to see a crash like that in Red Valley,” St. Germain said.
The Red River Community Centre said in its Facebook post that it was aware of an accident and that the centre was shut down as a precaution.
The centre was closed for about five hours, the centre’s Facebook page said.
St. Peters said she and her husband were going to Red River on Wednesday to pick up a baby from their daughter’s nursery.
She told CBC Edmonton’s John Mucklow that they are not sure when they will return.
“All of a sudden we hear this big crash.
We thought it was a tree falling on us, or something like that.
We were really scared,” she recounted.
“A lot of people said, ‘Oh, it just happened to the wrong people.
Maybe something big.’ “
We just thought, ‘OK, it was something bigger.
Maybe something big.’
We had a bad feeling about it.
The ambulance’s going to come right in, and they’ll take the baby away, but I just don’t know when we’ll be back.”
Red River Mayor Jeff Molloy said he was not surprised that the crash happened in Red River, and praised the Red River police and Red River Fire Service for their quick response.
“This has happened on so many occasions in Redriver