WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton’s Filipino community is mourning the death of four temporary foreign workers killed in a head-on crash over the weekend. Laurel Gregory spoke with a family member.
EDMONTON — A head-on crash southeast of Edmonton killed 41-year-old Eva Caperina, Rosalina Tipdas, Archie Bermillo and Romil Mose this weekend, according to the city’s Filipino community.
The four temporary foreign workers were heading out to Kingman Saturday morning when they hit a patch of ice on Highway 21 near Leduc, causing their vehicle to swerve and slam into a tractor. All four were declared dead at the scene.
Caperina and Tipdas both worked as caregivers. Caperina’s husband died from a motorcycle accident last year in the Philippines. Her cousin told Global News her two teenage children still live there.
“It’s really tragic. She planned to bring her kids here, but that’s not going to happen because she’s gone,” Caperina’s cousin Marie Iquin said on Monday.
Iquin added her cousin was the kind of person who could “befriend anyone,” and was always laughing and joking. And like other foreign workers who come here, she said Caperina came to provide a better future for her family.
Bermillo and Mose, both men under 35, worked as cooks at Fatburger restaurant and lived together.
“They both have a spouse and a child in the Philippines,” said Dianna Lasenby, a spokesperson for Fatburger. The company is working with the Philippine consulate to make arrangements with the families, she added.
“Understandably, the crew — they all live together in the same house … are very upset. We’ve actually closed the restaurant for a few days.”
“We’re just going to take it day by day.”
Lasenby said the store owner has been spending all his time with the crew to offer them support.
“He’s been very helpful in trying to help them, not only get through this, but also make contact with the families… get the arrangements made.” She said about six crew members live together in a house in Edmonton.
“It’s a tragic event. We’ve never, fortunately, had to deal with this in the past. So, we’re all just kind of struggling getting over it.”
All four of the victims had been working in Canada since 2012. Initial reports indicate only Mose was able to secure life insurance since coming here.
The office of the Philippine honorary consul based in Edmonton is working with the victims’ employers to immediately repatriate the remains. The consul’s office is also making funeral arrangements.
Concerned members of the Filipino community have pitched in, as well, by setting up an account for donations for the families.
*Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on Nov. 23. It was updated on Nov. 24 to include one victim’s identity and again on Nov. 25 to include information about the other victims.
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