The sisters farm accident in central Alberta has a small town mourning. The locals say they died living life in the fields, a lifestyle choice they don’t regret, according to People.
The sisters, 13-year-old Catie Bott, and Dara and Jana, who are twins, 11, fell into a truckload of canola Tuesday night on the family farm in Withrow, about 15 km east of Rocky Mountain House.
After the trio fell into the truck, family members and neighbors managed to free the girls and begin CPR after they suffocated. Emergency crews continued life saving efforts but were unable to revived Catie as well as one of her twin sisters.
The sisters farm accident was tragic. Another twin was flown to Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital by STARS Air Ambulance in critical condition, but succumbed to her injuries just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.
The girls’ parents were too distraught to speak Wednesday, but issued a statement through RCMP, saying their kids deeply loved the farming life:
“Our kids died living life on the farm, it is a family farm. We do not regret raising and involving our kids Catie, age 13 - Dara, age 11, and Jana, age 11 on our farm. It was our life! Thank you for all of the overwhelming support we have received from the first responders, neighbors and friends. We would ask the media to respect our privacy at this time of grief.”
Brian Allan, pastor of the Withrow Gospel Mission, was close friends with the Bott family, including father Roger, mother Bonita and their surviving son Caleb.
“They are a wonderful family and very close friends of ours,” he said, noting Catie this past Sunday had just shown the congregation a PowerPoint presentation on a recent church-led father-daughter weekend the Botts attended.
“This is your worst nightmare.” He said the family was dedicated to the farming life as well as the church “family.”
“More than anything, they deeply loved the lives they lived on the farm,” he said.
Allan said he was at the farm last night and has since spoken to father Roger, but right now the family just wants some space. The pastor noted the close-knit community is rallying around the family as they grieve.
Area farmers have already begun helping the Bott’s complete their autumn harvest while the Roger and Bonita Bott Trust Fund has been established at the Eckville Credit Union for those looking to offer financial help.
RCMP Sgt. Mike Numan said investigators are working with the medical examiner’s office to determine what happened. He added the deaths have been difficult for first responders as well as the community.
“This is hitting us all very hard, front line responders are routinely called out to sad situations but things are always harder when there’s children involved,” and emotional Numan said.
The sisters farm accident is in the town of Withrow, about 124 miles northwest of Calgary. Neighbors have pitched in to help the family harvest their crops while they are grieving.