Jo Law and Dave Zabielski were raising funds for the family; Molly Bell (centre) aided the fundraiser.

Jo Law and Dave Zabielski were raising funds for the family; Molly Bell (centre) aided the fundraiser.

Communities of Nakusp and New Denver open hearts for boy’s family

Boy was in vehicle that rolled into lake and sank on Wednesday.

  • Jan. 4, 2018 12:00 a.m.

NAKUSP — People in Nakusp and New Denver are opening their hearts and wallets to help the family of a local boy who died in a car accident on December 27.

“We just want to let the family know the community cares, we are with them, and we support them at this time,” said Jo Law at the Old Firehall last Friday. Law and her partner Dave Zabielski were donating proceeds from their weekly pierogi lunch to the New Denver family.

Law says they expected to raise about $500 for the family.

“When we found out about the accident, and it was actually a dear friend of ours, we decided to make all the proceeds towards this,” said Law. “And if anyone wants to make any extra donations, we’ll pass them on.”

A Gofundme campaign has also been launched to support both Emma Calles and Ryan Butler and their family.

More than $17,650 had been raised in three days by the Calles campaign. Its stated goal was raising $15,000 for the family.

Visit to donate.

“Funds will allow the family to focus on healing and supporting each other, while the community holds them dear by reaching out to absorb some of the costs that will be faced,” says the Gofundme page.

The Butler campaign also quickly generated support, with $10,896 being raised in just two days.

Visit to donate.

Meanwhile, police were investigating the motor vehicle accident that claimed the boy’s life.

The boy drowned when the car he was in skidded off the highway near the Halcyon Hot Springs, rolled down an embankment and ended up in Arrow Lake.

The boy’s father and an 11-year-old sister were able to get out of the vehicle before it sank. However, the boy was missing after the accident.

Nakusp RCMP and other emergency personnel arrived on scene and took the man and girl to hospital. They were treated for injuries and later released, police said

Police divers recovered the body of the boy in the car the next day.

At press time the West Kootenay Traffic Services, a traffic reconstructionist and the Nakusp RCMP were continuing to investigate the cause of the accident.

RCMP are also asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact police.

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