GoFundMe campaigns have been started for two Chilliwack men killed in a head-on semi-truck collision east of Golden on Sunday (Aug. 28) morning.
Tanner Liefting, 25, of Chilliwack was identified as one of the deceased through friends on Facebook.
Brandon Richard Johnson aged 30, of Chilliwack B.C. and Jagsir Singh Gill, 31, from Punjab, were named as the other two deceased by Skilled Truckers Canada.
The incident involved two semi-trucks that apparently collided head-on, according to RCMP.
Liefting and Johnson were in one truck carrying 4H animals from a show at the Western Canadian Classic (WCC) in Brandon that was held Aug. 23 to 27.
Eyewitnesses say that at least one of the semis was on fire after the crash that led to the closure of Highway 1 for 36 hours.
RCMP at first only confirmed that two men died as they were originally only able to locate two bodies, although three fatalities were suspected.
More than $100,000 was raised as of Thursday on a GoFundMe page to support Liefting.
“Tanner was a loving husband and father, a talented and hard-working individual who had a passion for truck his entire life and was very well known in the trucking community,” reads Liefting’s page.
“Tanner was taken from this world far too soon leaving behind his family.”
Liefting leaves behind a wife and young daughter.
A GoFundMe for Johnson, known as “BJ” to friends, had raised $15,285 by Thursday.
“BJ was a wonderful friend, brother, son,” the page says. “He was so passionate about trucking. BJ along with Tanner and the other driver involved were taken too soon.”
Local dairy farmer Devan Toop posted about Johnson who he said came to the farm looking for work at the age of 15.
“You lived in our heritage house, busted your ass and saved your money and supported your family as you worked towards your dream of driving truck,” Toop wrote. “I was proud of your dedication and how you made it…. My heart hurts for your family and all the friends you made on your travels. If God needs something hauled across the heavens, I’m sure you’ll be first in line, shining up your big white Peterbilt at every stop.”
A GoFundMe for Gill was created but as of Wednesday was no longer on the website.
“We want Jagsir’s family to see their son one last time,” Gill’s page said.
According to the GoFundMe, Gill was transporting a large quantity of highly flammable liquid.
Liefting was driving prized cattle from a show, some of which were 4h projects. All but one of the cattle perished, according to RCMP.
“The Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE) would like to extend heartfelt sympathies to the 4H youth who lost their animals and to the families of the drivers who tragically lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident on Aug. 28,” said IPE general manager Heather King. “This is a loss that affects not only our fair, but our community. And the 4H program. The kids raised these animals from newborn calves to yearlings. Eighteen of the animals in the crash were to be part of the show at the IPE this year.”
An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this collision, including any dashboard camera video, is asked to contact the Golden-Field RCMP at 250-344-2221.
The BC Coroner Service has taken conduct of the investigation, with assistance from the Golden-Field RCMP and the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service.
– with files from Jennifer Smith and Paul Henderson
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.