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Wallaceburg in mourning: Community raises money to support families of triple fatal collision

Community members of the tight-knit town of Wallaceburg say the entire community is feeling the impact of the sudden death of three young people in a fatal collision over the long weekend.

“The whole town has been touched, the whole community has been shaken. It's going to be hard to move on from here,” said Haley Gagnier, friend of one of the crash victims.

Chatham-Kent Police responded to a collision between on Sunday around 9:55 p.m. between a semi-tanker truck and car on McNaughton Avenue at Wallace Street.

Police have identified the victims as Victoria Baertsoen, 24, Matthew Cousins, 24, and Shae-Lynn Bachus, 23.

Two passengers of the car were also sent to the hospital with injuries. Selena Bushey, 22, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is beginning her recovery. Mackenzie Vandroffelaar’s, 25, condition has stabilized but remains serious.

Police say the driver of the tractor trailer was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

“They were all honestly such beautiful souls and sometimes there's just no words. We love Victoria and all of them. They were all so close,” said Michelle Persyn, friend of Victoria.

A GoFundMe Page has since been created to support the grieving families. 

“It's just a tragic accident that you wish never happened. Hopefully this GoFundMe can help to ease the burden a little bit,” said Jordan Aarssen, friend of Victoria.

Flags will be flown at half-mast in honour of these young lives at the Wallaceburg Municipal Centre from Tuesday, May 23 throughout the weekend.

“This is heart-breaking news,” Mayor Darrin Canniff said. “As a community we sit in shock and grief thinking of the families, friends and CK staff who are suffering an unthinkable loss. Our thoughts also extend to the driver of the tanker truck as well as our first responders who attended at the scene and provided exemplary service.”

On Monday, May 29 there will be a moment of silence at the Chatham-Kent council meeting on to recognize the lives of these young victims.

The Traffic Management Unit has taken over the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Const. Josh Flikweert at or 519-359-9204. 

'Wallaceburg you are in our hearts' image from GoFundMe page. (Source: GoFundMe) Top Stories

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