TEMISKAMING SHORES, Ont. — Less than one month after celebrating with a baby shower attended by family and friends, 21-year-old expectant mother Christina Osmond was killed in a four-vehicle collision at the intersection of Highway 11 and Highway 65 in Temiskaming Shores last Thursday afternoon.
Osmond's fiance, Alexander Niemi, confirms her passing and the loss of their unborn child in the crash. The Haileybury couple had been eagerly anticipating the birth of their son, Colton, with Osmond's due date set for May 13.
A distraught Niemi, through a family spokesperson, also shares a family friend — another occupant of the vehicle in which Osmond was travelling — has been hospitalized due to her injuries and also lost her unborn child in the incident.
Members from the Temiskaming Detachment of the OPP responded to the collision on Highway 11 at Highway 65 shortly before 3:30 p.m. on April 7. The investigation revealed that a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was travelling northbound on Highway 11 when it collided with a passenger vehicle at the intersection of Highway 11 and 65.
Niemi's family is fundraising to help him defray the costs of a memorial service.
"They were planning for a baby, buying the necessities needed for their son which has been financially taxing. Now, instead of planning for the arrival of their son, he is planning a celebration of life for his fiancée and baby boy."
The OPP has not yet officially released any names of the victims pending post-mortem examination but earlier this week did lay charges of dangerous operation causing death and dangerous operation causing bodily harm against the commercial vehicle operator involved as a result of the investigation into the fatal collision.
A grieving Niemi, whose family has ties to the trucking business, is calling for reform to the training of commercial vehicle operators and the ease with which licences may be obtained.
There have been multiple fatalities on Highway 11 north of North Bay so far this year involving commercial motor vehicles, as well as a number of other serious crashes.
"We believe the public is at a high risk of injury or death each time they enter a major transportation route within Canada," says Travis McDougall, on behalf of Truckers for Safer Highways. "There are more inexperienced drivers on our highways than experienced. Unfortunately, that issue is compounded with rapidly changing weather conditions and over-confidence and poor judgment in making safe choices while operating commercial vehicles."
See related: Truckers advocate for improved highway safety
The highway was closed for more than eight hours as the OPP's Traffic Incident Management Enforcement and the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario – Ontario Forensic Pathology Service conducted the investigation into the fatal collision.
Anyone with information about the April 7 crash should call OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.