3 family members among 4 killed in Hwy. 7 collision east of Peterborough

Among the victims in the Hwy. 7 head-on collision were, Stephanie Hart, Rowghan, Jonathan MacDonnell and Riddick Hart. Stephanie, Jonathan and Riddick were pronounced deceased at the scene. GoFundMe

Among the four victims of Tuesday’s fatal head-on collision just east of Peterborough involved a father, mother and their son — while the family’s daughter is in hospital, the area’s public school board announced Wednesday.

Peterborough County OPP say a collision around 5:15 p.m. between a pickup truck and a SUV on Hwy. 7 near Drummond Line claimed the lives of four people.

On Wednesday night, police identified the victim of the pickup truck as Jason Schmidt, 42, of Hastings, Ont.

Three other deceased — including the driver of the SUV — have been identified as Riddick Hart, 18, and his parents Jonathan MacDonnell, 46, and Stephanie Hart, 52, all of Otonabee-South Monaghan Township. The couple’s daughter Rowghan was airlifted to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto with life-threatening injuries.

Prior to the police announcement,  Rita Russo, director of education with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, told Global News Riddick was a Grade 12 student attending Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School (TAS) in Peterborough. Russo said Stephanie was an educational assistant at the school on Armour Road.

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Russo also said Rowghan is a Grade 9 student attending TAS.

“We are shocked and saddened by this difficult news and the many profound and permanent impacts this tragic event has for so many in our community,” Russo said in an email issued to parents and guardians.

“We have sought the support of the mental health clinicians at our school board, for both students and staff at TAS and other impacted schools. If you feel your child is in need of professional support, please contact your school.”

Russo said flags at TAS, the board’s education centre and other schools have been lowered to half-mast “as we grieve this tragic loss.”

“We offer our deepest condolences to family, friends and the entire TAS community,” she said. “Our thoughts are also focused on the family member, our student, currently being treated in hospital, as we all hope for a positive outcome.”

A GoFundMe Page launched on Wednesday by family member Tanya Hart identified the victims as the “MacHart” family (Hart and MacDonnell).

As of Thursday morning more than $32,000 had been raised, surpassing the initial $10,000 goal to cover expenses and care Rowghan may require.

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In an update, Hart said Rowghan has suffered “life-altering injuries.”

“With her grandparents by her side, she faced a second surgery today,” Hart posted.

More to come.

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