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New monument honours victims, lives lost one year after deadly Carberry crash

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Hundreds gathered in Dauphin, Man., Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of a deadly crash that claimed the lives of 17 people.

The crash took place on the Trans-Canada Highway when a semi-trailer collided with a minibus. The bus was carrying seniors to a nearby casino.

To mark the sombre occasion, a memorial service took place at C.N. Park, where community members unveiled a monument dedicated to the victims.

“Today's a sad day for many of us here, but also a day to come together, to reflect, to support one another, and most of all, remember those friends, neighbours,” said mayor David Bosiak during the service.

“Hopefully as time passes, seeing this monument will bring some joy instead of the sorrow, and as we remember the good times,” he added.

Josephine, a survivor of the deadly crash near Carberry, Man., that claimed the lives of 17 people, points to her name on a new monument unveiled on June 15, 2024. (CTV News/Dan Timmerman)

Josephine Stokotelny, one of the surviving victims, said she’s thankful to be alive following the accident.

“I just thank God for all my blessings that I'm not on one of those…I should have been, I could have been in the frames,” she said, referring to the framed photographs of those who died. “God wasn't ready for me.”

Stokotelny was thrown out of the bus in the incident and spent months recovering in hospital.

“I was lucky to be alive,” she said.

The memorial service was emotional for some, including Tammy Koshowski, whose father also survived the crash.

“It's bringing up a lot of memories of that day,” Koshowski said. “It's hard, but looking at the support that we have here is amazing. It just gives me strength, encouragement. It's wonderful.”

That community support was felt by many in attendance.

“Dauphin is very much Dauphin Strong,” said resident Doreen Dohan. “And we pull together. If there's anything we can do for one another, we really, really try.”

Talking to reporters, Bosiak said the victims’ family, friends and broader community members were involved in the monument’s design process, which features a symbol of hands held within a heart.

“That symbol was everywhere immediately after the accident,” Bosiak said. “I don't know where it initiated or who initiated it, but it's one of those things that went viral, and people from all over country were sharing it and sending it to us.

“You could probably drive around town right now, you'll see it in car windows, and some people still have decals on their businesses and their homes and so that's meaningful,” he added.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew was also in attendance – offering condolences to the victims’ families and acknowledging the community’s resilience.

“For us, it is important to come together in times like this, because while we may not have answers for all the difficult questions, we know that through being present and through stepping forward, we can be there for one another,” Kinew said.

The premier also announced the province will be recognizing the first responders who were at the scene that day with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt – a prestigious award presented to individuals who demonstrate outstanding skills in the areas of leadership, service and community commitment.

"I think it's important that we find a way to pay tribute to the people who stepped up that day to save lives and to show dignity," Kinew told reporters after the service. "It is a large group of people, and it just gives you that insight into how many people stepped up in a very, very difficult moment."

Following the unveiling, organizers announced there will be another monument displayed in Carberry to honour the victims of the crash. That unveiling is scheduled for Aug. 11.

- With files from CTV's Kayla Rosen and Joseph Bernacki

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