WATCH: The widow of a man killed in a crash on the Malahat Wednesday says the incredible community support has provided a small comfort during these difficult days. April Lawrence has more.
Randa Seidel and her two-month-old baby Hazel are facing the world on their own now after tragedy ripped Hazel’s dad away.
“That’s something he’s been wanting for a long time was to have a daughter and to finally have that and have him taken away, it’s a feeling that no one will ever understand,” said an emotional Seidel.
It was just after 8 a.m. Wednesday when Jonathan Seidel’s sewage truck collided with an SUV near Goldstream Park. It flipped and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The highway was closed for more than seven hours.
The 36-year-old had been working for DBL Disposal Services for just three months. It was a job his wife says he loved.
“It didn’t matter if he was driving a big rig or our little Pontiac Wave but he loved to drive, that was just his passion,” Seidel said.
The pair met while working for West Coast Amusements in Saskatoon. Over the next six years, Randa broke through Jonathan’s tough exterior to discover the funny, loving guy inside.
“He was nothing but a hard working guy that just wanted to provide for his family and be there for people,” she said.
They moved to Nanaimo and got married in January, Jonathan got his new job, then Hazel was born two months ago. It was the best time of their lives then Wednesday morning it all was ripped away.
But there has been one thing that’s made these darkest of days just a little bit brighter for Jonathan’s family — a rally of community support.
Nearly $30,000 was raised online in just 24 hours through a GoFundMe campaign. Since Randa is self-employed and on maternity leave, the donations are a huge relief. Jonathan’s employer, the entire trucking community, and people from as far as Australia are all pitching in.
“A dear friend of mine started up a food train so Randa will have meals being delivered to the house starting Monday people are donating diapers and gift certificates,” said Jonathan’s sister Jennifer Kurucz. “The community has just wrapped their arms around us and really been there for us,” she said.
Randa says she has no choice left but to cling to the memories of her husband and keep him close so that little Hazel will always know her dad.
“If it’s the next mountain we climb or the next waterfall we see he’ll be with us,” she said.