Calgary community grieves for family of mother and daughter killed in northeast crash
Two women who were killed in a crash on Metis Trail are being mourned by family and friends who say they will be greatly missed by Calgary's Pakistani community.
Uzma Afzal, 31, and her mother, Bilquees Begum, died after the vehicle they were in was hit by a suspected impaired driver at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday near Metis Trail and 128 Avenue N.E.
Asif Ashfaq, Uzma’s husband, was also injured in the crash and her father, Mohammed Afzal, was taken to hospital in critical condition but is expected to recover.
The four were on their way home from a gathering in Airdrie when their Toyota Corolla was hit by a Hyundai that was being driven by a 21-year-old man.
Police say speed and alcohol are considered factors in the crash and that the incident was completely preventable.
"I don’t know how many innocent people have to die until people figure out that drinking and driving kills. Pure and simple," said Acting Sergeant Dan Rogers with the CPS Traffic Unit at a press conference on Saturday.
Farhan Mirza and Muhammed Faisal have known the family for several years and rushed to the scene when they learned about the crash.
“My wife is traumatized, she is crying all day, all night and it’s very hard for us to even sleep because we see the bodies still on the road, stuck in the car, still we are facing that it is happening,” said Mirza.
“I rushed to the scene and then after followed to the Foothills Hospital,” said Faisal.
Mirza, Faisal and other members of the Pakistani community gathered on Sunday to support each other and share stories about the family.
“Very generous family. They always stand if somebody needs them, they always come forward to help people,” said Mirza. “Always available for help in a single call.”
“It is quite big loss for the community as well as for myself because I’ve known the family for more than 30, 35 years. That sister who passed away, when I met her she was like two-years old,” said Faisal. “She is a very soft and kind-hearted person. Her mom is obviously a fantastic mom as well.”
“Since this news has happened, all of our community they are trying to keep calling them, they are trying to go to hospital just to show them their respect and love,” said Ghulam Mustafa.
“She was like a little sister to me, her mom was like a mom to me,’ said Ambrina Qavi.
Asif is hoping to bring his parents and brother to Canada and friends are calling on the government to expedite a visitor’s visa for his family on compassionate grounds.
A funeral for Uzma and Bilquees is expected to be held in the next few days.
Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the events leading up to it to contact the Calgary Police Traffic Section at 403-567-4000, the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or Crime Stoppers anonymously through the following methods:
(With files from Stephanie Wiebe)