As many as 12 children were orphaned following the death of their parents in a car crash in southeast Manitoba on Saturday.
David Dik, 38, and his wife Elisabeth Dik, 35, from La Broquerie, Man., died after their car smashed head on into an SUV.
The Diks were parents to 11 or 12 children between the ages of one and 16. People who knew the family gave differing numbers on how many children the couple had. The family was not commenting, but media reports out of the community of Steinbach quoted the superintendent of a local school division as saying that eight of the family’s 11 children attended school in the community of Hanover.
The family had immigrated to Canada from Germany, according to Brian Schellenberg, a business owner in the community of Kleefeld, Man.
Schellenberg said he knew the family when they lived in Kleefeld prior to moving about 50 kilometres away to a home in La Broquerie, about 11⁄2 to two years ago. La Broquerie is about 70 kilometres south east of Winnipeg.
The driver in the Diks’ car lost control of their Honda Civic and struck a Chevrolet Trailblazer on Highway 52 in La Broquerie.
The couple died at the scene, RCMP said. The road conditions were poor at the time and the two were not wearing seatbelts, police said.
Schellenberg said the pair has extended family in the region, and it was thought that they would take care of the children.
A large number of Russian and German immigrants live in the region, Schellenberg said, adding that the community has a “good network of support.”
Prayers for the family were said at a church service in Kleefeld on Sunday morning, Schellenberg said.
Community members in Steinbach came forward on Monday to set up a trust fund for the Dik children, Steinbach Credit Union CEO Glenn Friesen said on Monday. Donations are being accepted at the credit union’s branch in that city, as well at branches in Winnipeg. Contributors are being asked to make cheques out to the “Dik Children Donation Fund,” Friesen said.
The two occupants of the SUV involved in the crash were rushed to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries, RCMP said.
Checks in US dollars made out to “Dik Children Donation Fund” can be sent here:
Steinbach Credit Union
305 Main Street
Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 1B1
Phone: (204) 326-3495