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‘Too tragic’: Family of 3 people killed in Whistler crash devastated by loss

Click to play video: 'Family of people killed in Highway 99 crash speaks'
Family of people killed in Highway 99 crash speaks
We are learning more tonight the three people who died in a crash on the Sea-to-Sky Highway this weekend. Among them was a father in his 20s, and his two-year-old daughter. Catherine Urquhart reports – Nov 28, 2023

A B.C. family is in mourning and struggling to come to terms with the deaths of three of its members.

“There is no word to say…. This is too tragic,” Karen Portillo told Global News Monday.

She lost her 22-year-old son Josafat Portillo and two-year-old granddaughter Natalia in the crash, along with her son’s brother-in-law, 21-year-old James Paguia.

The three of them were on their way home from a church event on Sunday just south of Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

Police said the vehicle drove off the highway and hit a tree but the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Click to play video: 'Multiple fatal crashes in Lower Mainland this weekend'
Multiple fatal crashes in Lower Mainland this weekend

Natalia’s mother, Iris, survived the crash and remains in the hospital with a broken jaw.

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“She just remembers a scream saying ‘no’ and the car was spinning around,” Portillo said.

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“She’s very devastated, she’s very very hurt.”

The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service is investigating the crash and a GoFundMe has been started to assist with funeral arrangements and help the family.

For now, the family is just trying to find a way to move forward and remember happier times.

Portillo remembers her granddaughter as a happy child who was loved by so many.

“She was full of life, innocent, everybody loved her because she was a happy baby, a happy child,” she said.

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