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Parents killed, 2 kids survive head-on crash during move from Surrey to Shuswap

Martel family was going to settle in the Salmon Arm area when tragedy struck

During a move from Surrey, parents killed in a head-on crash have left behind two children who survived.

The Oct. 2 crash near Salmon Arm sent the boy and girl to hospital, where they’re recovering from serious injuries.

The Martel family vehicle was loaded for a move to the Shuswap-region city when the crash happened that Sunday evening on Highway 1, in the Tappen/Carlin area.

Police said four people were in an eastbound SUV travelling in the westbound lanes when the vehicle collided with a westbound semi-trailer.

Parents Mike and Robin Martel died at the scene, and their children Maverick, 8, and Bailee Jo, 5, are recovering at BC Children’s Hospital without their mother and father by their side.

Both kids play baseball with Whalley Little League and went to school at Georges Vanier Elementary in Newton, according to Mark Deshane, vice-president of the baseball association.

“They weren’t in our league for a long time because the kids are fairly young,” Deshane said Tuesday (Oct. 11).

“These kids are going to be in great need,” he added. “An aunt is taking care of them and she’s here with them now while they’re in hospital. They have serious injuries, and they’ll be there for a long time.”


An online fundraiser launched by Mike’s cousin, Nadine Bouchard of Debden, Sask., has collected $56,250 so far, in an appeal titled “Maverick and Bailee Jo Martel” on

“This account is set up to help with anything the children need while being cared for by the loving staff at BC Children’s Hospital,” the post explains. “Any extra will be placed in trust for the children’s future.

Maverick has had multiple surgeries for fractures of both leg femurs, Deshane wrote in a post on Whalley Little League’s Facebook page.

“He has also had surgeries on a crushed hand. He is no longer in critical condition but is unable to visit at all due to high levels of pain killers and his multiple other injuries. Bailee Jo has had surgeries to fuse her neck as well as a fracture in her lower leg and wrist. They are hopeful she will recover without spinal cord injury.

“Our hearts go out to these two young Whalley players and their family in this time of need.”

• RELATED: Two killed in Highway 1 collision near Salmon Arm.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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