Alberta mother killed in Fernie car crash described as a ‘wonderful mom’

The community of Coaldale, Alberta is in mourning after learning one local mother has been killed in a car accident in B.C.

Kunthea Altvater was travelling with her husband Richard and their three children to their home in Coaldale when their Chevrolet minivan left the roadway and plunged into the Elk River.

A passing driver and his girlfriend saw the car upside down in the river and rushed to the family’s help. They managed to pull every member of the family out of the van.

RCMP members and a traveling physician managed to revive the four-year-old son by conducting CPR.

CPR was also performed on Kunthea, but she was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Altvater family. Submitted.
The Altvater family. Submitted.

The daughter has been treated along with her father at Sparwood Hospital. The couple’s two sons are in critical condition at Children’s Hospital.

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The little girl attends the Dance Images school in Coaldale and owner Gerry Unger knows the family well.

“Her mom was very, very helpful at the show last year and she really loved how everything was organized and run, and she was very helpful and very positive and so sweet,” she says.

Kunthea was a working mom so she had to juggle her work schedule to make sure her daughter could attend more classes this year, and she would often bring her sons with her to drop off Rochelle for her lessons.

“She was a wonderful mom that took time and effort to explain to her kids ‘this is good and this is right and this is what we should do,'” says Unger.

She was devastated to hear the news of the accident.

“They’re just a kind, sweet family,” she says. “As a dance studio we just consider everyone here part of our family.”

“We’ll miss seeing her every week.”