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Saskatoon company mourns ‘highly loved’ employee killed in Alberta highway crash

Click to play video: 'Three people killed in Alberta crash were from Saskatoon'
Three people killed in Alberta crash were from Saskatoon
WATCH: Global News has confirmed three people killed in a crash in eastern Alberta were from Saskatoon. Christa Dao has more on how friends are remembering one couple. – Aug 22, 2019

A Saskatoon veterinary diagnostics laboratory is mourning the death of an employee who died in a fiery multi-vehicle crash in central Alberta earlier this week.

Yaoqin Wang was a “highly loved,” experienced lab technologist, according to Yanyun Huang, the interim CEO of Prairie Diagnostics Services Inc.

“It is really sad news for our whole company,” said Huang.

READ MORE: 3 people from Saskatoon killed in fiery multi-vehicle crash in central Alberta

Three people died and 10 others were injured in Tuesday’s crash that involved at least 10 vehicles on Highway 9 near Cereal, Alta. Alberta RCMP confirmed the three people killed were from Saskatoon.

Investigators said a semi-truck that was hauling fuel ignited in the crash and the flames spread to several vehicles. A second semi involved was carrying butane. The collision area was “consumed with flames,” according to police.

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Global News has also learned Enwu Liu, Wang’s husband, also died in the crash. RCMP confirmed the couple’s daughter was also travelling with them and was one of two people airlifted from the scene in critical condition. She remains in hospital.

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Smoke billows from a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 9 in central Alberta. Submitted
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Emergency officials on the scene of a fatal crash on Highway 9 in central Alberta. Submitted
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Smoke billows from a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 9 in central Alberta. Submitted
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The aftermath of a deadly crash west of Cereal, Alta., on Aug. 20, 2019. Michael King/Global News
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The aftermath of a deadly crash west of Cereal, Alta., on Aug. 20, 2019. Michael King/Global News
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The aftermath of a deadly multi-vehicle crash on Highway 9 west of the village of Cereal, Alta. The crash happened at around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. Global News
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The aftermath of a deadly multi-vehicle crash on Highway 9 west of the village of Cereal, Alta. The crash happened at around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. Global News
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Emergency crews were on scene late into the evening after a fatal crash on Highway 9, west of Cereal, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.​. Global News
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One person was killed and several others injured in a multi-vehicle crash near Cereal, Alberta on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Contributed
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One person was killed and several others injured in a multi-vehicle crash near Cereal, Alberta on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Contributed
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One person was killed and several others injured in a multi-vehicle crash near Cereal, Alberta on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Contributed

Dawn Zhou met Liu and Wang in the mid-1990s. She said she succeeded Liu as the president of the University of Saskatchewan’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

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“We carried out a lot [of] community activities together with strong family support for decades and became close friends,” Zhou said in an email.

Liu also served as the principal of the Saskatoon Chinese Language School for eight years, according to Zhou.

“Enwu and Yaoqin worked hard and love their daughters very much,” she said.

Nanfang Zhao and Qiaoqin Yang were friends of the Wang and Liu and visited the crash site on Thursday to say a final goodbye to the couple they describe as well-loved and heavily involved in the Saskatoon Chinese community.

“On behalf of the Chinese community, thanks for their contributions to the community,” Yang said through tears from the side of the highway Thursday.

“We are so sad to hear the bad news. We all love them and remember them, we just pray God to bless their kids.”

Friends of a Saskatoon couple killed in a crash near Cereal, Alta., embrace as they pay their respects at the crash site. Global News

A member of Saskatoon’s Chinese community himself, Huang described Wang and her family as “well-connected” in the close-knit circle of people.

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Around her 70-person workplace, people are remembering Wang’s positive personality.

“People really miss her and treat her as a sister,” Huang said.

READ MORE: Dad speaks about Alberta crash that killed son: ‘If there was one person I knew ready to be an angel, it was him’

The third person killed was travelling in a separate vehicle, according to police.

— With files from Global News’ Heide Pearson

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