The chief of an Alberta First Nation called on the power of prayer to help his community heal from another fatal car crash.
“Our community came together last time and our communities are going to come together this time,” said Vernon Saddleback of Samson Cree, south of Edmonton.
Saddleback confirmed five people who died Tuesday had ties to Samson and Ermineskin – two of four first nations that comprise the Maskwacis region, about 95 kilometres south of Edmonton.
However, the victims were living in the nearby town of Wetaskiwin.
Three sisters from one family and a couple with a young son were killed when two vehicles collided outside Millet, Alta., at about 4:15 pm MT June 5. They were all in the same vehicle.
A person in the other vehicle was treated for minor injuries and released.
Police have not yet spoken about the accident.
“I do want to ask everyone out there who is watching, who is listening or who is going to read this, if you could pray for our communities,” Saddleback told reporters Wednesday.
“And pray for those families involved.”
The three sisters were Dominique Soosay Northwest, 19; Cheyanne Soosay Northwest, 22; and Latesha Soosay Northwest, 25; from Samson Cree First Nation.
Cheyanne and Latesha had five children between them.
Wetaskiwin RCMP said Wednesday they were still investigating the cause of the crash that also claimed the lives of Anthony Swampy, 30, and his girlfriend, Terrelle Minde – whose age was not available.
Saddleback expressed shock at the heavy loss.
“Tough to lose one family member but five from a community… words can’t express,” he said at a news conference.
Police said the collision occurred on Highway 2A at Township Road 472, about five kilometres south of the town of Millet.