Jeremy Sisco, Tracie d'Entremont and Spencer Saulnier.
By Tina Comeau
The three friends from Yarmouth County had been in a car heading west, where the lure of employment opportunities in Alberta have been too strong an attraction for many young people to pass up.
But along the way, opportunity turned to tragedy in a crash on Highway 17, a remote part of the Trans Canada Highway that travels through Ontario. And as a result, two funerals will be held in Yarmouth this week as family and friends – and indeed, the community – mourn the loss of another two young lives in an area that has already seen more than its share of heartbreak during 2013 from sudden or unexpected deaths, be they on land or on the sea.
Meanwhile, people continue to offer their prayers and support to the third individual who was in the vehicle as he spends time in an Ontario hospital, being treated for the serious injuries he sustained in the crash.
The first of two funerals, this one for 24-year-old Jeremy Sisco, will take place at Sweeny’s Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. – although his obituary doesn’t refer to it as a funeral, but rather a celebration of his life. Memorial donations are being made to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Sisco had moved to Grand Prairie in Alberta in 2011 to pursue a career in welding and was working on an apprenticeship at Reid Energies Alberta. His obituary said he loved life and all of the people in his life. He also, it said, enjoyed hockey and basketball “and taking on any and all new adventures his life had to offer.”
Sisco had been pronounced dead at the scene of the Thursday, Aug. 22 single-vehicle collision.
A second victim of the crash, 19-year-old Tracie Janelle d’Entremont, died days later on Sunday, Aug. 25 in an Ottawa hospital. She had been sent to the hospital following the crash in critical condition and underwent more than one surgery. In the crash she had suffered multiple head fractures and other life-threatening injuries. Her obituary says that her funeral will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in Wedgeport at 11 a.m.
Her mother Gail posted an entry on Tracie’s Facebook page on behalf of the family, calling the young girl “the sparkle in our lives.” While her family and friends prayed for a miracle while she was in hospital, the Wedgeport resident’s injuries were just too severe.
“We stayed by her side at all times giving her hugs and kisses and comforted her with all your love and prayers. Tracie was a fun loving girl who lit up a room with her beautiful smile and that amazing laugh. She loved life and all that it had to offer. She had a promising future. You were beautiful inside and out my sweet,” the Facebook post reads, while also expressing gratitude for the well wishes and support the family has received. “We would like to thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, they were very comforting to us. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel. She was taken away from us much to soon. We will cherish our memories and hold you forever and always in our hearts. Sweet dreams my angel.”
D’Entremont had graduated from Ecole Secondaire de Par-en-Bas in June 2012.
The Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police told the Yarmouth Vanguard on Monday, Aug. 26, that the exact cause of the crash was still unknown. All that was known, a detachment spokesperson said, was that a westbound vehicle traveling on Highway 17 southeast of Mattawa in Ontario left the road, rolled and crashed into the ditch. The police spokesperson said it wasn’t known what had caused the vehicle to lose control.
The third passenger in the vehicle was Spencer Saulnier, 21, of Melbourne, who is being treated for his serious injuries at a hospital in Ontario. Saulnier and d’Entremont were boyfriend and girlfriend. Saulnier attended high school at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School but recently, like Sisco, has been living and working in Grand Prairie, Alberta. On his Facebook page friends and family are posting words of encouragement, urging him to stay strong as he recovers from his injuries.
His mother, Della Boudreau, had posted information about his injuries the day after the crash had occurred. At the time he was in the intensive care unit and had a concussion and was experiencing bleeding in the brain. He also had a broken nose and swelling above his eyes and his mother said he had metal staples from the back of his head to the top and back.
“He has opened his eyes and I am hoping he knows its me. I've held his hand for quite awhile so he doesn't try to take out the tube out of his nose,” she had posted.
The next day she had posted a message to friends and family again, saying her son had been showing slow signs of improvement.
And his condition continues to slowly improve, although he has a long recuperation ahead.
One happy outcome in what has otherwise been a sad a tragic situation, is that a dog belonging to Saulnier, Kilo, who had originally been feared lost and/or killed in the crash was discovered a couple of days afterwards roaming around in the area.