Following a tragic truck accident that caused nine-year-old Baeleigh Emily Maurice to pass away, a vigil was held with tears, music and stories to remember her short life.
People gathered at the location of the accident including family, friends and supporters, holding candles in hand and gifts for the family.
Some told stories about Baeleigh, who was known to be full of life, laughter and good intentions.
Her father, Todd Maurice, stood with Baeleigh’s mother, Rochelle Dubois, in his arms and spoke about Baeleigh.
“She’s everything you’d want, everything you would want in life. Sad that it had to take her so tragically, it just hurts. It’s painful,” he said.
The young girl’s Auntie Raven mentioned her devastating final conversation with Baeleigh, just moments before the accident.
“Right before we left, I said look both ways and she shook her head and she smiled and she said I will Auntie, I promise.”
Traditional Indigenous drumming was playing throughout the vigil by two groups.
The drumming is meant to mirror the heartbeat of Mother Earth and to help move along the healing process through the vibrations of the drum.
With a speech and prayer, everyone in attendance was encouraged to celebrate her life, no matter how short it may have been, and to live a full life while they still can.
“There’s a teaching here. Death is part of a ceremony of life. We were never asked to be born and we don’t know when we’re gonna go,” said a man saying the prayer.
Many people left candles, teddy bears and flowers along the fence across from the crosswalk where Baeleigh passed to show their support for the family.
Although the vigil was held in Baeleigh’s memory, neighbour Bobbi Crowe said, “I think it’s going to send a message. It better because we have to do something about this street and get people to slow down.”
The speed limit on the street is currently 50 km/h, like most residential areas in Saskatoon.
The accident occurred just one day after the city’s transportation committee put the brakes on a proposal to lower residential speed limits.
Crowe mentioned, “People go so fast on this road, it’s practically a raceway.”
Global News received a statement from Saskatoon Public Schools saying, “Our school division is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this young student and our thoughts are with the student’s family and loved ones.”
Adding, “We have additional counselling support at the school to provide assistance for any students or staff members who need it.”
A GoFundMe has been started to raise money for Baeleigh’s funeral.
The goal was to raise $15,000, and it has already been surpassed by over $1,000.