News

Community mourns tragic death of Calgary mother of five


A GoFundMe page has been organized to weave a financial safety net for Angela McKenzie’s five children, who are grieving the loss of both their parents this year

Article content

The tragic death of a Calgary mother has rocked the community as friends and family grapple with how she was torn from their lives.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Angela McKenzie, 40, was killed Tuesday in what police are calling a road rage incident on 36th Street S.E. McKenzie was the mother to five children between the ages of nine and 17 years old. Her children are still struggling with the loss of their father, who died in late February.

Sven Stuwe’s family was friends with McKenzie and her children for nine years. They met when his son and McKenzie’s twin girls went to school together, and the two families quickly formed a strong bond.

“I spent the last 24 hours being numb and sad, and especially angry. And I’m still angry because it was so senseless, it didn’t need to happen,” Stuwe said. “It’s such a sharper pain and sense of loss because you can’t find meaning in it.”

Witnesses said a 2021 red Chevrolet Silverado was pursuing a 2021 grey Volkswagen Jetta on 36th Street S.E. around 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. Occupants in both vehicles fired gunshots at each other while driving.

Advertisement 3

Article content

The Jetta was driving southbound with the Silverado close behind when they collided with two other vehicles at the intersection of 36th Street and 17th Avenue S.E. McKenzie was driving a silver van when her vehicle was hit by the truck.

She was found dead at the scene. Police said she was an innocent victim. The cause of death is still under investigation but police say it does not appear the van was struck by firearm rounds.

“What killed Angela didn’t just affect Angela and the individuals that collided with her. It affected her family, her friends, her community. It affected thousands of people because of this one careless, thoughtless moment,” Stuwe said. “We’re intelligent human beings, we should be far better than this.”

Advertisement 4

Article content

‘An incredibly giving individual’

McKenzie loved camping and fishing, and volunteered regularly at her church. She especially enjoyed helping other people, Stuwe said, as if it was “embedded in her soul.”

“I know that is what helped her through every challenge in her life, the ability to give back to people. It just brought her such incredible joy.”

McKenzie’s mother, who is now taking care of her five children, called to tell Stuwe and his family about the tragedy.

“I remember just being in shock. And my wife broke down into tears. I’m sorry, it’s really affecting me now,” Stuwe said, his voice cracking.

“With the tragedy that these kids have experienced having lost their father. And then a few months later, their mom on top of that . . . they’re absolutely, completely orphaned.”

Advertisement 5

Article content

A bouquet of flowers marks the scene on Thursday, May 12, 2022, where a mother of five was killed as an innocent victim in road rage and gun fire incident in Forest Lawn. The incident happened on May 10. Angela McKenzie, 40, was found dead in her van near the intersection of 17th Avenue and 36th Street N.E. after a collision with one of the suspect vehicles.
A bouquet of flowers marks the scene on Thursday, May 12, 2022, where a mother of five was killed as an innocent victim in road rage and gun fire incident in Forest Lawn. The incident happened on May 10. Angela McKenzie, 40, was found dead in her van near the intersection of 17th Avenue and 36th Street N.E. after a collision with one of the suspect vehicles. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Pastor Ian Scott with the Salvation Army Berkshire Citadel Church said McKenzie was one of the first people to volunteer at the church, especially when it was a family event.

“It’s a huge loss. She and her family are such an important part of who we are and the life of the church community,” Scott said.

The church has a small, close-knit congregation, and Angela’s loss has been difficult to process, he said.

“We’re lost. I’m not sure if it’s become real for everyone yet, there’s still that sense of unknown and disbelief and shock.”

The church community is now working together on ways to support McKenzie’s children.

“It’s a devastating blow to the community here and certainly to her family and to her children. Now we will have to just navigate the future together.”

Advertisement 6

Article content

Fundraiser organized to support children’s future

The church congregation and loved ones have organized a GoFundMe page to weave a financial safety net for her five children. Nearly $30,000 had been raised as of Thursday afternoon.

Reaching the $250,000 goal would ensure each child has $50,000 for the years to come, with all proceeds going directly to McKenzie’s mother, Stuwe said.

What her children need now is for Calgarians to step up.

“If everybody in Calgary came together and helped, it would give these kids hope. It would give them belief and a solid understanding that there are people who care about them in this world.”

bgervais@postmedia.com

Twitter: @BrittGervaisAB

Advertisement 1

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.




Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close