SASKATOON—A woman is facing impaired driving charges following a crash outside Saskatoon that killed a couple and their two young children.
RCMP said yesterday that the last family member in the accident—a five-year-old girl who had been taken to hospital with serious injuries—did not survive.
Jordan Van de Vorst, 34, and his 33-year-old wife, Chanda Van de Vorst, were pronounced dead at the crash scene early Sunday.
Two-year-old Miguire also died in hospital with his sister, Kamryn.
The intersection where the crash occurred—Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road—has a reputation for a high number of collisions, but a spokesman for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways said steps continually have been taken to reduce incidents there.
Communications director Doug Wakabayashi said a 2014 independent safety study showed it is no more dangerous than others of its kind in the province.
“Although the collision frequency is increasing faster than traffic volume, which may indicate some deterioration of safety at that intersection,” he noted.
“We have installed a lot of safety features at that intersection over the years.”
Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood called the intersection “terrible” and said it is a “rural highway that services urban traffic.”
She would like to see traffic lights installed but Wakabayashi said the ministry has no such plans.
Friends of the deceased, meanwhile, were struggling to take in the loss of an entire family.
“It’s a pretty tough day for all of us,” said Michael Murchison, a friend of Jordan Van de Vorst.
He said the man worked as a microbiologist but his passion was photography.
They were part of a small group of amateur photographers who often went out together to snap photos of things such as the northern lights.
“We were talking about going out the night of the crash after he got home, but he never got back to anybody,” said Murchison.
“We just assumed he went home to bed.”
He said Van de Vorst always was talking about his two kids.
“He was a great dad, great person, a great friend,” Murchison noted.
“And we’re all going to miss him a lot.”
Van de Vorst posted several photos of his smiling children on Facebook.
They sat on Santa’s lap a few weeks ago. On New Year’s Day, they went tobogganing.
The last picture he posted was of a sparkling snowflake.
The Saskatchewan Freedom Photography Group posted it yesterday in memory of the family.
Mounties said the Van de Vorsts were in a car that was struck by an SUV that was crossing Highway 11 just north of Saskatoon.
Catherine McKay of Saskatoon faces three counts of impaired driving causing death.
Police said after the death of the girl that additional charges are pending.
The 49-year-old woman appeared briefly in court yesterday and was remanded in custody.
She is to appear in court again Thursday.