Heartbroken: A father reflects on the loss of his daughter in fatal Highway 401 crash
A father is shaken to the bone after losing his 13-year-old daughter in a fatal crash over the weekend.
Tears ran from the eyes of Jason Smulders on Monday, as he spoke about the loss of his daughter Alyssa Smulders. She died along with her uncle, 35-year-old Marc Lafontaine, in Chatham on Saturday. He and Alyssa's mother, Denise Lafontaine, are shocked and heartbroken.
The two were killed when a westbound tractor trailer crossed the median on the Highway 401 striking their eastbound car. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
“I really wish they would put a barrier in between the oncoming lanes. Something like that could have been the difference in my daughter still being here today,” he says.
Alyssa and Lafontaine were the best of friends. The pair went somewhere different together every week. Colleen Lafontaine, an extended family member, says Lafontaine was a shy, quite man, but never distanced himself from Alyssa.
“The only thing I hope to take comfort in is that I was told that she didn't suffer, and that they don't think she would have been conscious on impact,” Smulders says.
The grade seven student at David Suzuki Public School is described as having plenty of friends and loving baseball.
The fatal crash closed the highway for several hours. The driver of the tractor trailer, 57-year-old Leszek Urbaniak of London has since been released from hospital.
Police are still trying to determine why the truck suddenly crossed the center median and into oncoming traffic.