The tight-knit community of Walnut Grove is in mourning this spring break, after learning about the loss of Nichole Sanders and her 10-year-old daughter Brooklyn Flores, who died in a crash near Jasper on Saturday, March 11.
Adam Flores said he wanted to reach out to those who knew and loved Nichole and their daughter, Brooklyn, and to the parents of students who attended Brooklyn’s school, Dorothy Peacock Elementary. A service is being planned at the Loft Horse Riding Camp in Aldergrove where Brookyln loved going.
“Brooklyn was supposed to become a wrangler. She was so looking forward to that,” said Adam.
“For Nichole, everything is about her kids. She is a Girl Guide leader and part of Scouts. She was an amazing mother and would do anything for anyone,” he said.
Nichole and her mom, Jennifer Sanders, were taking Brooklyn and their eight-year-old son, Wyatt, to West Edmonton Mall for a spring break vacation when the crash took place, 13 kilometres east of Jasper.
At approximately 10:45 p.m., while on patrol, Jasper RCMP came across the two-vehicle collision on Highway 16.
The van the Langley family was travelling in had collided, head-on, with a pickup truck.
According to Jasper RCMP, two occupants of the van were pronounced deceased at the scene — a 33-year-old woman and her 10-year-old daughter. The family’s eight-year-old boy was also in the van but was not injured. The 56-year-old grandmother in the van suffered non-life threatening injuries, said police.
Wyatt was physically uninjured in the crash. His grandmother is home from hospital but is badly injured. Both are suffering emotionally, said Adam.
The driver of the truck, a 51-year-old man from Calgary, was taken to hospital in serious condition, where he remained as of Thursday.
Highway 16 was closed all night and into the morning, while RCMP investigated with the assistance of an RCMP collision analyst team.
Adam has been told the wreckage was so bad that it will be some time before they know what caused the crash.
He said he is getting lots of support from friends and family.
“I catch myself and then start crying, realizing this is real. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It will be a long process, and we have to be strong for my son, Wyatt.”
Adam wanted to share what a joy his daughter was to all who were lucky enough to know her.
“Brooklyn would do anything for anyone. She would reach out and be friends with anybody,” he said.
The loss has hit hard for Brooklyn’s best friend, Ross, said Adam, noting the pair did everything together.
Nichole grew up in Walnut Grove and is a WGSS graduate, who chose to raise her own family in the place that had so many great memories for her, growing up, he said.
No date has been set for the memorial service. Due to the anticipated size of the gathering, Adam asks that anyone planning to attend contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will try to respond as quickly as he can.