Heaven Gladue received a text from her husband on Friday morning that read: “Good morning, babe.” The message came less than 10 minutes before four people lost their lives in a horrific crash south of Calgary.
Dorian Gladue was one of nine passengers in a van full of workers headed from Taber to a job site in Vauxhall, Alta., that collided with a pickup truck north of Taber.
“When I first found out, I cried all the way here,” Heaven told Global News on Monday. “And then I have to be strong for him because he’s going to be scared.”
Heaven had to leave their three young kids with family in Edmonton to rush to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, where she has been by his side since Friday.
“It’s sad. I am glad he doesn’t have memories of the crash though because if he is already feeling guilty about being here, and there were people who passed, then if he had those memories, I’m just glad he doesn’t.
“He knows that some people have passed away but we don’t really talk about it because it hurts him. He feels guilty about being here.
“As happy as he is he’s alive and he gets to be here with his kids, any person, any human with compassion would feel that way. So he’s having a hard time. It’s hard to watch,” Heaven said.
Dorian suffered severe injuries, including broken legs and a fractured pelvis.
“I am just grateful he gets to be here. I’m just grateful that my kids still have their dad because I wouldn’t even know how to tell them that,” she said through tears.
Despite all she’s going through, Heaven can’t help but think of the other victims in the deadly crash.
“I feel so horrible for them and for their children and wives and girlfriends and mothers and all the families to have to go through that. I just feel horrible for them and we’re sending lots of love and prayers to them.”
Heaven hasn’t told her kids about what’s happened. The family will be apart for at least two weeks while Dorian has more surgeries in Calgary.
“There is no way they could see him in the shape he is in. He’s in terrible shape,” Heaven said.
Dorian started his job in southern Alberta in November, spending two weeks at a time away from his young family in the hopes of being able to buy a house. Now their future is uncertain.
“I don’t know what that looks like right now. Of course that’s a worry for both of us and we are just trying to figure that out. But our main focus right now is just getting him better.”
Three passengers in the van were pronounced dead at the scene and six passengers were taken to hospital.