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Fundraisers help crash victims

Two fundraising campaigns have been launched to help the Nanaimo victims of a recent car crash on the Malahat Drive.

Three Nanaimo women were killed and five people were injured in a two-vehicle collision at about 11:30 a.m. Oct. 14 along a non-median section of the highway near Whittaker Road.

The women, along with one man, 20, and a girl, six, were travelling southbound on Highway 1 when the Honda SUV they were riding in crossed the centre line and collided with a northbound Chevrolet pickup.

Pheap Top, 30, Diane Muriel Bacasca Bocacao, 19, and Gene Kloie Resu Jamisola, 16 – died at the scene, and the male passenger, J.R. Corpuz, and six-year-old Sarina, Pheap Top's daughter, were injured.

All three passengers in the pickup were also injured in the crash.

Randy Alvarez, a member of the Corpuz extended family, has launched a campaign to help the immediate families.

He said all of the passengers of the Honda were either related to one another or close friends – all four teens and adults worked together at the Rock City Tim Hortons location as well – and they were heading to Victoria to attend a birthday party.

Alvarez said the family is torn between grieving for those lost and trying to focus positive energy on the recovery of Corpuz, who remains in hospital, and the fundraiser is his way of helping.

“I've been in an emotional fog,” he said. “I've been immersed in trying to help the family as best I can and this is a way I can give back. Right now, the family is not working.”

People can donate at www.gofundme.com/Malahat-Tragedy-Oct14.

Alvarez said the Rock City Tim Hortons is also collecting donations for the families.

Chemainus resident Myles Vaux is raising money for Sarina Top. He arrived at the crash scene moments after it occurred and helped a firefighter rescue the young girl from the wreckage.

He said it was a miracle the girl lived, as the car she was riding in was cut in half, but she's lost her mother.

Vaux plans to put the money in a trust fund for the girl's future education and care expenses.

To donate, please go to www.indiegogo.com/sarinatop.

The B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association has donated $1,000 to help the families impacted and Pete Maltesen, owner of New York Style Pizza and chairman of the association's Nanaimo branch, said the group is urging all hospitality workers to help out if they can.

The B.C. Hospitality Foundation will also make a donation, he added.

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