Today was an interesting day..
We started skating early towards Kenora. We were going to be welcomed by city councilors and the media early in the day so it wasn’t going to be a large skating day.
We were about 16 km outside of Kenora when the unthinkable happened.
The roads were smooth and there was a large paved shoulder. I was heading up a large hill on the shoulder when I noticed a truck up ahead of me slowing down. There were cars slowing down behind it, before I knew it, I realized the cars and I were going the same speed.
I figured something was up with this truck. Possibly mechanical or an animal was on the road or something? I just noticed it was odd that he didn’t have his 4 ways on to alert traffic.
I took a couple more strides and then I heard a terrible noise. It wasn’t loud and it didn’t last long and I was sure it came from the truck up ahead of me. Within seconds Pierre radioed me and said, I’ve been hit. I quickly stopped and turned around to get to the van.
All I could see was a transport truck be hind Pierre on the side of the hwy and behind him was another transport half on the hwy, half on the road.
Pierre was all upset and was rattled. He was ok, he had 2 red marks on his face where he hit the steering wheel. I was worried about him. Jacques was tied to the bed and didn’t get hurt and miraculously Pierre didn’t get hit hard enough to run me over.
I can only assume the driver swerved to the side of the road to miss hitting the cars on the road and didn’t realize we were there until it was too later. It is possible that he didn’t see the slow moving vehicles ahead of us and didn’t slow down in time. I am very thankful that we didn’t cause the accident in anyway, I have always said my biggest fear is to compromise ours or someone else’s safety. That is not what this journey is about.
The driver of the truck will probably get charged, but we won’t know until we get the official accident report. The officer spoke to us first and wanted to get all the info from the drivers before laying charges.
After waiting for a couple hours we were finally free to go. We decided to drive up to Kenora to get to the tent where the city councellors were waiting.
I was welcomed into the city with open arms and I am greatly appreciative. The coucellors presented me with a couple of gifts, a t-shirt which I am wearing as I skate out of the city today and a water bottle. Trust me, you can’t have enough of those!
After a few interviews we headed to the hotel that was donated to us for the night by Crystal at the Super 8. I was so happy we had a hotel that we could go and relax in as we had more then our fair share of excitement for the day… Or so I thought!
After getting settled in the hotel we decided to head over to Caseys for a bit to eat. They donated our food and it was amazing! We met up with Jack Martin, the manager of community services at William W. Creighton Youth Services in Kenora. and he came out to talk to us about suicide and what he does with the youth in the area.
I learned a lot from him. I didn’t realize all the child poverty that was going on up here in northern Ontario. He said that a lot of kids have no hope and no opportunities and they learn at a young age that suicide is an option. A lot of the kids can’t see themselves past 20 years old in life. After these discussions I realized that part of the problem is that people don’t report or don’t talk about this. I had no idea this was going on.. So why don’t we ever talk about the child poverty in Northern ontario? Its been here for a long time and no one is doing anything about it. ______ Explained that they haven’t been able to get any government help and they need it. They need help saving these kids even if its something as simple as giving them opportunities in music, art, sports, whatever. Something to hope for. Without hope what are we doing here.
We live in a world where we don’t want to hear about the poverty in our own country because it makes us feel bad and we don’t want to feel bad. We want to feel good and safe and sheltered from whats really out there…
I must say he opened my eyes to a whole new world. One I didn’t know existed, One you might not know exists. I plan on learning more and addressing this issue in the future and I urge you to do the same, please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, comments or ways to help. I will keep posting more research as I find more.
After that life changing conversation, we decided to go meet Mike Richards of the stanley cup winning LA Kings. He was a really nice guy. He signed some autographs cards for us to Raffle off and he signed a Skate4Life jersey, after all it was inspired by the LA Kings.
What a day, although it felt like 3 days rolled into one!
Thanks again everyone for the support after our accident and for the well wishes… Skate4Life continues and tomorrow brings a new province!