Three young sisters died in a freak farm accident in central Alberta, Canada, leaving behind a distraught family and a grieving community.
The girls, Catie, 13, and 11-year-old twins Jana and Dara, were playing on a truck loaded with canola seeds and somehow fell in, authorities said. The grain, which acted like quicksand, sucked the girls under Tuesday evening.
Adults rescued the children and began CPR, authorities said. But Catie and one of the twins were pronounced dead at the scene. The third girl was airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton, but died Wednesday morning from her injuries.
Parents Roger and Bonita Bott issued a statement through the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, which Sgt. Mike Numan read to reporters on the scene.
“This is hitting all of us very hard,” Numan said, prefacing the family’s remarks, “Frontline responders are routinely called out to sad situations, but things are always harder for everyone when kids are involved.”
The parents said, “Our kids died living life on the farm, it is a family farm. We do not regret raising our kids … on our farm. It was our life! Thank you for all of the overwhelming support we have received from the first responders, neighbors and friends. We would ask the family to respect our privacy at this time of grief.”
Neighboring farmers are harvesting the family’s crop so the parents and their remaining child, nine-year-old Caleb, could mourn privately.
A gofundme account has been opened to help the family pay medical and funeral costs.
Heartfelt condolences poured onto social media sites.
“My heart is not here today … We cannot now understand why things happen in the way they do. We can only that our faith will carry us through until the day comes when will all make sense,” wrote Sharon Bott Cole, Roger’s cousin, on Facebook.
Family members “are all in a state of shock, disbelief and grief,” another cousin, Fred Bott, wrote. "Anyone and everyone who hears of loss like this is left searching answers to questions where no answers can be found."