CTV News Calgary Latest Videos
Photos taken moments before crash
Published Sunday, August 22, 2010 6:29PM MDT
CTV Calgary has learned more about the young couple who died Friday night in a terrible crash along Highway 8.
The couple were returning from a family wedding, travelling eastbound on Highway 8, and witnesses told police the Melnyk's car encroached over the centre line, and collided head on with a westbound truck.
Merin and Michael Melnyk were killed.
Their 7-week-old daughter Ysa, who was in a baby seat, survived the crash.
Just less than half an hour before the fatal crash 26-year-old Michael and 22-year old-Merin and members of the family had stopped to take photos at Sunset.
Merin's Mother, Cheri Litchfield told CTV Calgary, "Dalyn took Eden's camera and as the two girls were walking across the road holding hands and then it would have been within half an hour the accident occurred."
Merin's sister Eden was travelling just a few minutes behind with her husband.
"They were coming up Highway 8 here and saw the crash and obviously recognized the car and were there before the emergency response teams were able to be there."
Despite their enormous grief, the family is strong and relying on each other for comfort.
They say Ysa is a miracle, their bright light in the face of such tragedy.
And they say they will spend Ysa's lifetime sharing good memories of her parents with her.
Merin's Father, Dave Litchfield told us, "Michael was a great husband and friend; he was compassionate and always remained true to others."
Cheri Litchfield says, "I want Ysa to know her mother was full of grace not just physically but emotionally, she was emotionally giving she was the sweetest person, so kind so good."
The family is now planning a private funeral, a fitting tribute to a couple known for their love of life and their commitment to one another.
Doctors say Ysa is expected to make a full recovery.
She is now out of intensive care but still too injured to be released from hospital.
Her grandparents and her aunt and uncle have been at her bedside.
They can't hold her, but say they spend plenty of time stroking her head and holding her tiny fingers.
They are hoping to take her home within the next couple of days.
She will now be cared for by her aunt and uncle, Merin's older sister.
There is a trust fund that has been established for the tiny survivor.
Donations can be directed to:
Ysa Melnyk Trust
c/oTingle Merrett LLP
1250 Standard Life Building
639 - 5th Ave. S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0M9