EDMONTON- The family of a six-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a school bus will be holding a public memorial for their son on Friday.
Thomas Wedman was struck while crossing the street on his way to school at the intersection of Sir Winston Churchill Avenue and Woodlands Road in St. Albert.
Thomas was a Grade 2 student at École Marie Poburan.
Saturday morning, the Wedman family posted a written statement on the Community of St. Albert’s Facebook page, which has been posted below:
“I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to the community of St. Albert for all the love and support that you have shown my family. I have been reading many of the messages and find great comfort in them. My son was the happiest little boy in the universe. He filled our lives with pure joy every day and I am devastated that his life has been cut short. As a family we will get over this tragedy and create a new normal but we will never forget him. Hug your kids and families and keep us in your prayers.
However, we do ask you NOT create a memorial at the scene of his death. My son and many other students from the school walk by this corner on a daily basis. I do not want these children or anyone else to have to relive this moment every day with the constant reminder. Rather I want people to remember him for the lovable fun loving free spirited child that he was.
Sheri, Jeff, Ethan and Isaac”
Thomas’ father, Jeff, also sent a further statement to Global News, saying his son’s death has left a hole in his family’s hearts.
“Thomas was a happy-go-lucky boy who brightened the lives of everyone around him… Our lives will never be the same, and it will take love, faith and time to come to grips with not being able to hold him in our arms anymore.
We greatly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy from our family, our friends, and the community at large. It is heartening for us to hear from all the different lives Thomas touched and brought happiness to. We want to collect all these stories to help us remember him as the joyful spirit he was.
Thomas’ heart valves were donated to the Alberta organ donor program where they will improve the lives of two other needy children. It is hoped that the love and happiness he always had in his heart will follow to the recipients.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations be made to the Human Organ Procurement and Exchange Program (HOPE). Donations can be made online.
The Wedman family is also asking anyone who would like to share their memories of Thomas, to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas’ tragic death has touched the hearts of many. And while the Wedman family has requested a roadside memorial not be set up, condolences for the boy’s family have been pouring in online.
Watch: Condolences pour in online for young boy’s family
The school district will be watching students for signs of distress in the wake of this event, and a counselling team will be on site for the next week and as required.
Thomas was just weeks from him birthday; he would have turned seven on October 14th.
Jeff Wedman says a public memorial will be held for Thomas on Friday, October 4. The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Edmonton’s North Pointe Community Church, located at 140 St. and 167 Ave.
This story was updated at 8:00 a.m. MT Sunday, to include information about Thomas’ memorial.