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Manitoba family raising funds for animal rescue in honour of 19-year-old crash victim

Click to play video 'Family of Ethan Boyer keeping his memory alive through activism' Family of Ethan Boyer keeping his memory alive through activism
Ethan Boyer's death on Winnipeg's south Perimeter Highway led to a push for safety on the outdated road, and now, as Global's Malika Karim explains, his family continue to make strides for the betterment of the community – Oct 26, 2020

One year ago, on Oct. 25, 2019, 19-year-old Ethan Boyer was killed in a crash on the south Perimeter Highway near Brady Road.

Following the crash, the young man’s family has been actively and publicly pursuing safety measures on that stretch of the Perimeter to prevent any other Manitoba families from going through a similar tragedy.

While those efforts have been successful — leading to the construction of Ethan Boyer Way, a new service road will that divert traffic turning across the Perimeter Highway through the controlled Waverley intersection — the Boyer family isn’t finished.

The victim’s mother, Susan Boyer, told 680 CJOB the family recognized the one-year anniversary of Ethan’s death by doing some of his favourite things throughout the day, as well as setting up a roadside memorial at the crash site.

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Read more: Province names safety road after teen crash victim Ethan Boyer

“It was a very sad but beautiful day, just with memories and talking about the Big E,” Susan said.

“When I see memorials on the side of the road, I think, ‘Oh my God, somebody passed here,’ and I think of the family. My thoughts always go out to the family, and I think people need to slow down, and I hope that happens there also.

“I just want people to slow down, and hopefully they see that and maybe think twice before speeding.”

The memorial is constructed in part with a CCM hockey stick of Ethan’s that was broken in the crash, as well as a puck that had been chewed on by one of the family’s dogs.

Ethan Boyer, 19, was killed in a car crash Oct. 25, 2019.
Ethan Boyer, 19, was killed in a car crash Oct. 25, 2019. Supplied

Ethan’s lifelong love for animals, his mom said, inspired a new plan to do something in her son’s name — a fundraiser for a local animal shelter.

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“There has to be something, right? That’s the only thing kind of keeping me going is trying to do something Ethan would love to do.

“He’d bring cats home that he’d find in the ditch — of course, we couldn’t keep them, but we’d find them homes. He just loved animals so much and our animals miss him dearly,” she said.

“We’ve asked all of our friends and family to donate in Ethan’s memory to K9 Advocates, and that money will help K9 Advocates with the animals they rescue from up north.”

The family also raised money for K9 Advocates in Ethan’s memory in December 2019.

The Boyers raised $650 dollars for K9 Advocates, and the generosity continued to pour in from community members in Winnipeg, as Pet Value owners Tracey and Tom Johnson told the family they’d sell them the food at a discounted price. When the Boyers went to pick up the feed on Monday, Tracey surprised them by saying they’d like to set up an annual donation bin every October in Ethan’s name.

“When they told me about Ethan I definitely wanted to get involved,” Tracey Johnson said. “People in Winnipeg, people in Manitoba are so generous and I think once they hear this story again I think that they’ll easily jump on board and fill up our donation bin.”

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Although the family is doing what it can to find positives in such a tragic situation, there’s still one mystery that remains: the identity of the semi driver who struck Ethan’s car from behind, crashing him into another large truck.

“If the driver that killed Ethan, if he’s listening, or somebody from his business is listening, if they would donate in Ethan’s honour, that would go a long way,” said Susan.

“As of today, we still don’t know who that is, and it would help us in our healing if that could happen.”

Anyone who wants to donate can contact k9advocatesmanitoba@gmail.com.

Click to play video 'Province says Perimeter Highway near Brady Road will see significant upgrades in 2020' Province says Perimeter Highway near Brady Road will see significant upgrades in 2020
Province says Perimeter Highway near Brady Road will see significant upgrades in 2020 – Oct 25, 2019