Bloodvein First Nation Chief Wants Change After Crash Kills Teens


The Canadian Press, August 2, 2016

The chief of a Manitoba reserve where two teens were killed in a weekend rollover wants everyone in the community to work at preventing deadly joyrides in the future.

RCMP have said nine children were riding in a pickup truck early Saturday when it rolled outside the Bloodvein First Nation, about 250 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Two girls died and three others were taken to a Winnipeg hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Chief Roland Hamilton said that after he got a phone call about the crash, he reached out to the families of the victims — Abwii Kennedy, 14, and Blossom Dunsford Scott, 13. He also drove to Winnipeg and met with relatives of the injured.

He said he doesn’t know all the details of what happened, but understands there were eight girls and one boy riding in both the cab and the box of the truck.

The 14-year-old driver, who remains in hospital, had taken her parents’ truck without permission late Friday afternoon, Hamilton added.

Police have not laid any charges.

“We need to get together as a band and start discussing how can we prevent something like this from happening again,” Hamilton said Tuesday.

The chief said that after funerals are held, he wants the band to discuss prevention strategies and get others involved.

It’s up to “everyone — parents, RCMP, Child and Family Services, the band itself,” he said, to address issues of concern that may have led to the crash.

Hamilton said some people on the reserve had spotted the joyriding group before the crash.

“I don’t know why nobody tried to stop these young kids from driving around.”

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Bert Paquet said police records show the only call was to report the crash.

A candlelight vigil and walk for the two girls killed was held Monday night on the reserve.

Hamilton said one of the injured has since been released from hospital. Another girl remains in stable condition with broken bones. The driver is also receiving care for a spinal injury and may need surgery, he said.