The victim of a tragic traffic incident involving a semi truck’s converter dolly in Edmonton Wednesday morning has been identified as Meghan Weis, 36, a teacher in the Edmonton Catholic School District.
In a letter sent to parents, the division said she was a Grade 5/6 French immersion teacher at Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School.
“She was loved by her colleagues and students, and was truly a shining light to all who knew her,” the letter said. “She will be missed and has forever left a lasting mark on our hearts. For all of us, this is a time of great sorrow.
“Meghan was deeply loved by all, especially the children who she nurtured in their learning journey.”
The loss of Weis was also marked by the school board trustees with a prayer during a meeting held Wednesday afternoon.
“Her heart was as big as ever,” chief superintendent Robert Martin said.
Police told Global News that Weis died after a converter dolly came off a semi tractor trailer at around 7:30 a.m. and struck her minivan that had been heading east on Lessard Road, near the Anthony Henday overpass.
Police said their initial investigation shows that the eight-wheel converter dolly had separated from the semi, which had been travelling west on Lessard Road, crossed the median and struck the driver’s side of the van.
A converter dolly is an unpowered vehicle that is connected to tractor trucks to extend them.
The road was closed for the morning and part of the afternoon as police investigated.
Charges are pending against the 66-year-old man who was driving the semi.
The Alberta Motor Transport Association said Wednesday it believes most drivers and companies in the province comply with safety rules.
“The Alberta Motor Transport Association sends sincere condolences to everyone impacted by this accident,” said a statement from Chris Nash, the president of AMTA.
“As a safety and advocacy association, we know the majority of carriers in our industry are safe and compliant, however the AMTA continues to be committed to training and improving standards to help prevent these types of accidents from happening.”
This is Edmonton’s 8th fatal traffic incident of 2020, according to police.
A GoFundMe fundraising page was set up on Wednesday. According to the organizer, the funds will go toward the education fund of Weis’ two young boys as well as any financial needs the family may have.
This is the second incident involving a semi in the same area this week.
On Tuesday, a dual wheel came off a tractor trailer on Anthony Henday Drive, near Lessard Road just after 10 a.m. and struck the roof of a commercial truck.
Police said in that incident, the driver of the truck that was hit was able to pull over and only suffered minor injuries.
On Wednesday, police said the driver in that incident had come forward.