Leduc mom of 4 killed, daughter injured in wrong-way crash on Trans-Canada Highway

Click to play video: 'Fatal Trans-Canada Highway crash claims life of Leduc mother'
Fatal Trans-Canada Highway crash claims life of Leduc mother
A Leduc family is shattered after a devastating Trans-Canada Highway crash claimed the life of their mother: 37-year-old Amanda Volker. As Mason DePatie reports, the crash east of Calgary left her teenager daughter and two men injured, and killed another man from Brooks as well. – Nov 17, 2023

Alliya Hennifent, 19, has just experienced perhaps the most devastating loss of her life, while at the same time becoming a de facto parent overnight.

Her mother, 37-year-old Amanda Volker of Leduc, was killed in a head-on crash Tuesday night on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Calgary — a collision that also left her 16-year-old sister Danielle with serious injuries in hospital.

“This ruined our whole life in one second,” the young woman said while speaking with Global News on Friday amidst planning her mother’s funeral.

Volkerleft left behind her four children — three daughters ages 19, 16, 14, and a nine-year-old son.

“She was definitely a good mom,” Hennifent said, adding her mom loved being their parent. “That was her whole personality — was just being a mom.

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Alliya Hennifent, 19, in an undated photo with her late mother Amanda Volker of Leduc.
Alliya Hennifent, 19, in an undated photo with her late mother Amanda Volker of Leduc. Supplied

Hennifent said her mom and sister were heading to Drumheller when the crash happened.

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“I thought they were just going on a road trip and they would be back in the next day.”

The two-vehicle collision happened around 9 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 1, close to Range Road 191, near the community of Bassano in Newell County.

RCMP said a truck with three men in it was driving west in the eastbound lanes, when it crashed head-on into a SUV going in the right direction.

“My sister called me as soon as it happened,” Hennifent said.

“She was in the car and was crying and saying that she was in an accident, that she was in the middle of nowhere and she was scared.”

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Hennifent’s 16-year-old sister was driving the SUV when it happened. She was taken by ambulance to hospital with what RCMP said was life-threatening injuries. Her mother died on scene.

On Friday, Hennifent said her sister remains in hospital.

“She had a lot of injuries, but she had her surgeries and she’s better now,” she said.

All three of the men in the truck were from Brooks, RCMP said.

A 37-year-old man who was a passenger in the back of the truck also died on scene.

The 40-year-old driver of the truck, and another man who was a passenger in the back were also taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries by both ground ambulance and airlifted by STARS air ambulance.

It’s not yet known why the truck was driving on the wrong side of the major divided highway, or if factors like speed or alcohol were involved.

“I haven’t heard from the police. They can’t really say much to me. They did say it wasn’t my family’s fault, why the accident happened. I’ve heard from my sister what happened, but not from the police,” Hennifent said.

Regardless, the crash left two people dead and three others with critical injuries. Hennifent, still in shock from the loss, wished she had more time with her mother.

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“Drive safe and hug your loved ones because you never know when it’s going to be the last day.”

Hennifent said they don’t have a lot of family. Her mom got pregnant with her as a teenager and her dad has never been in the picture. She said she is now the guardian of her 16-year-old sister.

“I have a lot of responsibility now, so I have to be strong and take care of my siblings,”  she said.

Her brother is with his dad and her 14-year-old sister is staying with a family friend and is struggling with the pain of their mother’s loss.

“My brother’s too young to kind of understand. And my youngest sister, she is a bottled-up person. She doesn’t wanna let anybody know that she’s hurting, but… she’s been crying all day, every day.”

The 19-year-old has created a GoFundMe to cover her mother’s funeral costs.

“It’ll cost roughly $10,000 for me to pay for everything. Not including flowers or food or anything like that or care for the children afterwards. That’s just for the funeral.”

Bassano RCMP continue to investigate the crash.

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