Crash victim Mariia Bundur, 4, remembered as ‘happy, social, and bubbly child’

Police say around 7 a.m. Saturday, police were called to a collision on Melbourne Road. When they arrived, officers found the victim and the motorcycle in a ditch. Nick Westoll / Global News

A four-year-old Appin, Ont. girl killed in a three-vehicle collision Monday night in Southwest Middlesex Township is being remembered as a “happy, social, and bubbly child” by those who knew her.

In a letter sent to parents and guardians on Tuesday, Ekcoe Central Public School principal Cheryl Nichols said their thoughts were with Mariia Bundur’s family, classmates and members of the Glencoe school’s community.

READ MORE: 4-year-old dies after 3-vehicle crash in Middlesex County: OPP

“Mariia was a student that, from the moment she walked in the room, she definitely lit up that space. She had the biggest, brightest smile on her face every day,” Nichols told 980 CFPL.

“She was a very social student and had lots of friends, was super kind, great at sharing. She was new to our school this year, but in her short time here definitely made such a positive impact on her classroom atmosphere.”

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Nichols says students were made aware of the news during school hours Tuesday, adding members of the Thames Valley District School Board’s Traumatic Events Response Team (TERT) were at the school on Tuesday and will be on scene again on Wednesday.

“Our Traumatic Events Response Team from the school board has been on site since [Tuesday] morning. We’ve gone in and spoke to each of our classes individually and had conversations about the news so that we could deal with this in a developmentally appropriate way, depending on the age of the students, and make sure we could field any questions or any grief kids were experiencing,” she explained.

“We also had a room set up in our school that was staffed by our TERT team, where students could go in and colour and have conversations and ask any questions they might need at that time.

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“We also had an area for our staff that might have been dealing with this event, or might have hit home for them based on other experiences from their past.”

READ MORE: Huron County OPP seek witnesses to fatal crash south of Exeter

According to a statement issued by officers, emergency crews were called to the intersection of Melbourne Road and Glendon Drive at around 8:20 p.m. Monday. The investigation revealed a tractor trailer and two passenger vehicles collided.

In an update issued by officers on Tuesday morning, they said three people in one vehicle were treated and transported to hospital by Middlesex London EMS. Two suffered serious injuries and third person, a child, suffered life-threatening injuries.

Officers say the child has since died and identified her as four-year-old Mariia Bundur of Appin. Police would not comment on the relationship between Bundur and the two others taken to hospital.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

— with files from 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick and Global Toronto’s Nick Westoll

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