Service of mourning held for Wallaceburg crash victims

Service of mourning held for Wallaceburg crash victims

Still reeling after the tragedy that occurred nearly two weeks earlier, the emotions of the Wallaceburg community were on display June 1, as residents gathered for a service of mourning in honor of three young lives lost in a crash, as well as those who were injured .

With many embracing as they greeted each other, about 100 people attended the public event, which was organized by the Wallaceburg Ministerial Association and held at the Wallaceburg Christian Reformed Church.

Matt Cousins, 24, Victoria Baertsoen, 24, and Shae-Lynn Bachus, 23, were killed when their vehicle collided with a tanker truck at about 10 pm May 21 in Wallaceburg.

Two other passengers, Selena Bushey, 22, and Mackenzie Vandroffelaar, 25, were injured.

“The town has been rocked by the events of late,” Tim Leferink, church pastor, told the congregation.

“I’ve heard on more than one occasion, people have been saying to me, and I echo this, that there’s just been a weight upon us all. That’s why we come here tonight.”

The lives of the victims were remembered, with the gathering also praying for the recoveries of the injured, including the truck driver.

Several area pastors participated in the service, which included scripture readings, reflections and songs.

Leferink said the aim was to have a solemn event with no photos, so the community could pay their respects, while leaning on their faith and each other at this time.

“We come here tonight bringing our grievance,” he said. “We come here tonight as a community. As a community of people who want to bring their grievance to God.”

Those looking for support can also contact Chatham-Kent Victim Services at 519-436-6630 or by email at [email protected].

Police previously reported the crash happened when a car traveling on Wallace Street entered McNaughton Avenue and collided with a tanker truck. The tanker driver suffered minor injuries.

The collision remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Chatham-Kent Police Const. Josh Flikweert at [email protected] or 519-355-1092.