A veteran truck driver and father of nine,Benjamin Dunn who worked tirelessly to support his family in northeastern Ontario was one of three people killed in a pileup that set off a massive fireball on a highway north of Toronto.
Nikiyah Mulak-Dunn, wife of deceased said she first feared the worst for her husband after a friend pointed out images in the media of what appeared to be his truck engulfed in flames.
She said that OPP later confirmed the grim news, plunging the family into despair and uncertainty.Grief counsellors have been at the family’s North Bay, Ont., home to help Mulak-Dunn talk to her children, who are between one and 16 years old, about the loss of their father.
She added, “It’s just been devastating. I don’t know where we’re at right now, we’re just trying to process and we’re all in shock and disbelief and just pretty traumatized, I’d say, so it’s going to have to be day by day.”
She said her husband, who was the family’s sole breadwinner had been working as a trucker for at least a decade and drove that same route regularly juggling with two other jobs as a miner and a welder.
Friends have rallied behind the grieving family, organizing meal trains and offering to plow their driveway all winter, Mulak-Dunn said. Others have launched online fundraising campaigns.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation but police suggested the blame may lie with the driver of a transport truck they say crashed into slowing traffic.Police have not publicly identified those killed Tuesday night in the multi-vehicle crash on Highway 400 that set off a massive fireball and sent motorists running for their lives.
The Ontario Trucking Association has said the industry is committed to road safety, noting that there has been a 66 per cent decrease in the fatality rate from large truck collisions between 1995 and 2014 despite a 75 per cent rise in large truck vehicle registrations.