The family of three sisters killed in a tragic farming accident in central Alberta say they died living life on the farm, a lifestyle choice they don’t regret.
RCMP in Rocky Mountain House held a press conference Wednesday to further discuss the details about the incident in which three sisters were killed in a farming accident. Sgt. Mike Numan was tearful and choked up while speaking to the media. Numan was very emotional when tasked with reading the public statements from the parents.
The girls were playing on a canola grain truck when they fell in and were suffocated, two died on scene. The third girl died Wednesday morning at 3:18 a.m. in hospital. The girls have been identified as 13-year-old Katie Bott, 11-year-old Dara Bott, and 11-year-old Janna Bott. The truck the girls were on was loaded with canola and efforts to resuscitate them failed.
“This is hitting us all very hard, front line responders are routinely called out to sad situations, but things are always harder when there’s children involved,” said an emotional Numan.
The family issued a statement, which Numan struggled to read to the media.
“Our kids died living life on the farm. It is a family farm; we do not regret raising and involving our kids. It was our life. Thank you for all the overwhelming support we have received from all of the first responders, neighbours, and friends.”
The tragedy took place in the small community of Withrow, located east of Rocky Mountain House. According to the school superintendent, the girls were previously enrolled in the school division but had been recently homeschooled. They had attended the local school, Condor Elementary, up until two years ago. Crisis management teams have been on site at the school to help those in the tightknit community grieve.
The family’s cousin Fred Bott took to social media to grieve about the loss, saying everyone in the large family is absolutely devastated.
“Our family is very large and we have had our share of loss over the years, but all in all, we have been very fortunate. We come from a strong Christian background which has made us a very close knit group and I know this will help bring us through this together as a family. My small request is that you keep my cousin, his wife, and his daughter in hospital and his son in your prayers, or your thoughts. Also, hug your loved ones a little tighter today; call those you haven’t spoken to in a while. Life truly is a gift, share yours like there may not be a tomorrow.”
It is unclear how the children ended up in the grain truck, but the family is not focusing on that right now, but rather dealing with the sudden tragedy that has struck them.