A Chilliwack family that was involved in a fatal collision two months ago is asking for help from the community to help bring some normalcy to their Christmas this year.
Greg McLaren was travelling south on Prest Road with five of the family’s children in their grey Doge pickup when they were T-boned by a white Chevy truck that ran a stop sign at McGuire Road on Sept. 20.
The driver of the Chevy died at the scene.
“It was a sad situation, kids came crawling out the window of the Dodge one by one,” witness Brent Neels said.
“The kids and Greg got out safely but have bigger injuries than originally thought,” reads a GoFundMe account which was set up the day after the collision by friend Shauna Goddard.
“Please help me help this amazing and generous family who would give the shirts off their back to anyone in need,” Goddard wrote.
In McLaren’s truck that day were five of the family’s seven children and step-children, including 13-year-old twins, a 12-year-old and two 10-year-olds.
“[Their] injuries were worse than anticipated,” said Cara McNamara, McLaren’s partner who was not involved in the crash. “My daughter had surgery on her elbow due to it being broken, my partner is heading for surgery and my others are still struggling with walking from concussions.”
Some of the children had torn kidneys as a result of the collision. One of them, Caden McNamara, has a severe concussion and still struggles to walk, while another, Bryce McLaren, suffered temporal lobe damage.
“Only time will tell the full effects,” Cara said.
Greg is self employed and is now unable to work. He is scheduled for surgery for his rotator cuff in January and will very likely need three disc replacements, she added.
Now, less than a month before Christmas, the McLaren-McNamara family is hoping people will donate to their GoFundMe to help make their holiday a bit more merry. So far, $1,895 has been raised of the $10,000 goal.
“This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended on our family,” Cara said.
To donate to the McLaren-McNamara family, go to gofundme.com/f/fatal-accident-survivors.
– with files from Paul Henderson