Family of Alberta girl killed in school crash says thank you

ST. PAUL, Alta. – The family of an Alberta girl killed when a minivan crashed into her classroom has released a statement thanking Canadians for their outpouring of support.

Megan Wolitski’s parents are also praising emergency workers, police and the medical staff at the two hospitals where the 11-year-old was treated before she died.

“The support we have received has been incredible,” reads the statement released by Megan’s uncle Les Miskolzie on behalf of her parents.

“We would like to thank the first responders, the St. Paul Hospital, the Stollery Children’s Hospital and RCMP for their care and compassion.

“We would also like to thank all Canadians for their kind words and prayers. They have provided comfort to the family.”

The small rural community of St. Paul is planning a memorial service for Wolitski on Friday night.

Her funeral is scheduled for Saturday, with a release of balloons planned at the end.

The family reserved special praise for the town.

“We are honoured to live in such an amazing community,” the statement read.

Wolitski was one of three Grade 6 girls seriously injured last week when an out-of-control minivan crashed into Racette Junior High School in St. Paul.

Richard Edward Benson, who is 46, faces charges of criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

He was denied bail on Thursday, but his lawyer says he plans to appeal.

His family has said he has a history of seizures and might have been having an attack behind the wheel.