Grandmother collects gifts in memory of daughter and grandson killed in crash

WINNIPEG — A grieving grandmother puts together gift boxes in memory of her daughter and grandson.

After losing both her daughter and, one month later, her 10-month-old grandson following a car crash in September, a Winnipeg woman wants to help youth in the city.

To keep the memories of her daughter, 30-year-old Jennifer Dethmers, and her grandson AJ, alive Candy Volk started to collect small items and treats to be used for Christmas boxes that will be given to children.

“Jennifer was a very giving person and so we want to do something positive in her and AJ’s memories,” said Volk.

Volk hopes the community of Winnipeg will get involved to support youth whose families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Well this year has been hard for a lot of different people in a lot of ways, there’s been a lot of tragedies,” Volk said.

Volk said she will never forget September 26 – the day her daughter’s van was t-boned by a vehicle.

Police said the collision happened after police officers tried to stop a truck, but the driver took off.

Armand Joseph Jr. Chartrand was charged with multiple offences including dangerous operation of a conveyance causing death. The charges have not been proven in court.

Dethmers was killed and on October 28 her son also passed away.

“He fought so hard, he tried. I had to tell my daughter to come get him, I had to tell my little bambino it was ok to go home now. He took his last breath and went to be with him mum,” said Volk.

AJ’s first birthday would have been December 3.

Volk said they will create a page on Facebook for families to sign up, and will collect donations until December 21. People can get involved through email.  

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