An infant who had been hospital since a crash last month that left his mom dead “has gone to join his mommy in the spirit world,” family members say.
Ten-month-old AJ — known to family as “Bambino” — was in the back seat of a van with his mother, Jennifer Dethmers, when a pickup truck that was speeding away from Winnipeg police slammed into the van in the William Whyte neighbourhood.
Dethmers, 30, died in the Sept. 26 crash, and AJ was rushed to hospital in critical condition. Dethmers’s partner and stepdaughter were also hospitalized with serious injuries.
“Our hearts have been shattered into a million pieces,” Candy Volk, Dethmers’s mother, posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
“Our only comfort at this time is knowing while we mourn and grieve, our Jenny is having the most glorious reunion with her son who she loved so much.”
Volk also thanked everyone for their love, prayers and support over the past month. She said a sacred fire has been lit at their Furby Street home and “all are welcome to stop by and offer prayers as Bambino begins his journey.”
Police said the truck was involved in a routine traffic stop on Sept. 26, when it took off at high speed.
Within seconds, and just two blocks away, the truck ran a stop sign at the corner of Boyd Avenue and Andrews Street and collided with the van, police say.
Armand Joseph Jr. Chartrand, 43, who police say was driving the truck, was also treated in hospital following the crash, along with a passenger in the truck.
Chartrand is charged with dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death and eight more counts related to dangerous driving. He is also charged with driving while suspended and driving without insurance.
Additional charges are expected in the coming days as a result of AJ’s death, police said.
Chartrand’s passenger was not charged.
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