A Calgary family is mourning the loss of their son and baby brother who was killed in a crash just two weeks before his birthday.
Michael Barata was a holiday gift to a his parents 22 year ago; he was born on Christmas Eve at the Rocky View Hospital.
“He loved everybody around him,” Michael’s older sister Karley said. “He would do anything for anybody if you ever needed him. He would come grab me or my kids if I was ever stranded — even in the middle of winter time in a blizzard.”
Karley described her brother as a loving and generous uncle.
Michael was on his way to work on the morning of Dec. 9, driving from Calgary to Strathmore on highway 22X. It’s a commute he normally did with his dad, who he worked with.
Michael’s car collided with a west bound semi trailer. He died at the scene.
“I wasn’t able to make it that day. The only time ever. He would’ve been with me in my vehicle. I think we would’ve been okay,” Michael’s father Edgar Barata said.
RCMP said the cause of the crash is still under investigation but road conditions are believed to have played a role.
“Our prayers are also with the driver with this trucking company. We just want him to know that we hold no blame and we send him our love,” Edgar said.
Despite their own grief, Michael’s parents are thinking about others — including the family of a man killed on Saturday at south west Calgary construction site.
“We really feel for that family of that construction worker. We know exactly how they feel,” Edgar said.
A memorial now marks the site of the crash on highway 22X. Michael’s mom said both accidents are a reminder of how quickly life can change.
“Always when we are sad he has been there to comfort us. He was happy when he came home — always hugs and kisses for us all. I am lost. I am lost without my son,” Cheryl Barata said.
Big sister Karley is cautioning others not to drive when the roads are icy. Michael’s grieving father is thankful for the community support shown through a gofundme page for the family and he’s asking everyone to keep their loved ones close.
“You can never hug them enough because you see them walking out the door and you never know if that might be the last time you see them. So always hug them — always tell them you love them every day,” Edgar said.