Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Community continues to mourn tragic loss

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Sat., April 7 and the days that followed have had a profound effect on our community. A deep sense of shock and sadness radiated throughout Westwood as we learned of the tragic loss of Kendall Wiebe.


Although no one was more pained by the accident than her family, countless people have been touched by it: friends, customers, co-workers, classmates and teachers, acquaintances and even complete strangers.


How many of us have driven by Portage Avenue and Rouge Road since the accident and shaken our heads in wonder? How many who shop and work in the mall have paused to pay respects or say a prayer? How many of us have hugged our loved ones a little closer or stopped more often to offer a kind word?


As the community comes together in support of one of our own, a celebration of life social is planned for Keith Bodley Arena at the KW Community Centre on Sat., May 12.


Tickets are available at a number of locations, including Sansome, Lincoln and Westwood schools. Proceeds raised will go to the Kendall Wiebe Cancilla Trust Fund.  


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There was another accident on Portage on April 7, just a short time before the one that claimed the life of Wiebe.


It was a hit-and-run between a light coloured sedan and a boy on a bike. Thanks to quick-acting witnesses and 911 personnel, the teen suffered only minor injuries.


That teen was my son. I share this story because it could so easily have been anyone. It should give all cyclists a reason to stop and take note of the rules of the road.


Many of us have ridden on sidewalks rather than risk the perils of the busier streets in Westwood, especially along Portage Avenue. Maybe you even encourage your kids to do so?

The fact is, riding on sidewalks, in addition to being illegal, is dangerous. The rules on cycling are set out in the Highway Traffic Act. Manitoba Public Insurance has all the details on its website at www.mpi.mb.ca (click on the road safety tab then choose Cycling).


An MPI spokesperson says that if a rider chooses the sidewalk, they should behave as a pedestrian should, stopping at intersections and proceeding only when it is safe. My son didn’t do that, but if he values his life, he will next time. Maybe he’ll even wear a helmet?


Sharon Pfeifer is a community correspondent for Westwood. You can contact her at sdrinteractive@shaw.ca.

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