Elias Dolabany, 21, Rachel Plowman, 18, and Ruby Kingma, 17, were involved in a crash along Ballam Road on Oct. 10, 2020. Plowman and Kingma died in the crash and Dolabany was sent to hospital. (Facebook)

VIDEO: Chilliwack mourning loss of two young women in Ballam Road crash

Family and friends have identified those who have died and one who is clinging to life in hospital

Friends and family are mourning the loss of two young women from Chilliwack over the weekend.

Rachel Plowman and Ruby Kingma died in a car crash along Ballam Road in rural Chilliwack at about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 10. RCMP say the vehicle they were in crossed the low cement barrier and flipped down the embankment before landing in the Fraser River. The two-lane road winds along the Fraser River, and is the site of previous similar crashes.

RCMP have not released the names of the three people involved, but social media posts remembering the two women have appeared. There is also a support page for the third occupant of the vehicle, Elias Dolabany. The 21-year-old was last reported be in an intensive care unit in a medically induced coma.

First responders were able to reach the vehicle and remove all three people, and performed life-saving efforts on the river’s edge. Kingma and Plowman were unable to be resuscitated, and Dolabany was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital.

Kingma’s sister, Bethany Kingma Neufeld, has created a public post to remember her sister.

“My dearest baby sister, Ruby Tuesday. I can’t even believe I’m writing this,” she wrote. “My little sister Ruby passed away in a tragic car crash late last night. She will be so deeply missed by our family and we take comfort in knowing we will see her again.”

A Facebook group called Support and Prayers for Elias and Family has been keeping the public informed of his progress. It mentions that his mother is from Syria and has been spending all of her time at the hospital by her son’s side.

“Elias was very close with his mother and sisters,” writes Amie Maria. “He worked hard and contributed financially towards making the ends meet for the family as his mother has been unable to work due to covid. Elias’s family are Syrian immigrants. They have no other family out here and very small support network.”

(Video courtesy Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)

RCMP released information about the crash early the following day.

“Emergency responders arrived and located the vehicle down an embankment in the Fraser River approximately 10 feet from the dyke and immediately began rescue efforts,” said St. Krista Vrolyk, media spokesperson for the Chilliwack RCMP. “Despite CPR and life-saving efforts, two females, aged 17 and 18, were pronounced dead on scene. A 21-year-old male was airlifted to a regional hospital where he remains in critical condition.”

The quick response by emergency crews is reportedly due to a witness who was following the car and called 911.

Early Sunday morning, three friends of the victims were grieving at the crash site. They scrolled through photos of their friends, talked about their lives and consoled each other. A memorial of flowers, cards, candles and even pieces of the car has been growing at the site.

The crash is still under investigation by the Chilliwack RCMP, the Lower Mainland District -Integrated Collision Analyst Reconstructionist Service (ICARS) and BC Coroners Service.

Air ambulance in Chilliwack on Oct. 11, 2020 after a fatal rollover killed two young people in the Fraser River. A third was airlifted to hospital. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services)

“Fatal collisions are always tragic, but ones involving young people are particularly difficult,” says Vrolyk. “Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of all those involved in last night’s crash.”

The accident was at the same point on Ballam Road where a similar tragic crash took place in January of 2016. A memorial is still there for Connor Dash and Gerritt Niessen, who were 18 when they died.

The City of Chilliwack then placed a cement barrier between the road and the river in the hopes of preventing similar crashes. In the wake of the Oct. 10 crash, residents have said that the barrier isn’t enough, and that more safety measures are needed in the area.

READ MORE: Friends gather to remember Chilliwack crash victims

READ MORE: Ballam Road barriers get a rough ride from Chilliwack resident


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

NewsRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Friends of victims of a fatal rollover crash on Ballam Road in Chilliwack late Saturday night gather at the site to mourn Sunday morning, Oct. 11, 2020. The site is the same location of a crash in January 2016 that led to the City of Chilliwack installing a barrier. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Friends of victims of a fatal rollover crash on Ballam Road in Chilliwack late Saturday night gather at the site to mourn Sunday morning, Oct. 11, 2020. The site is the same location of a crash in January 2016 that led to the City of Chilliwack installing a barrier. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Elias Dolabany, 21, is in hospital recovering from serious injuries from a car crash on Ballam Road in Chilliwack on Oct. 10, 2020. (Facebook)

Rachel Plowman was killed in a car crash on Ballam Road in Chilliwack on Oct. 10, 2020, along with her friend Ruby Kingma. (Facebook)

Ruby Kingma was killed in a car crash on Ballam Road in Chilliwack on Oct. 10, 2020, along with her friend, Rachel Plowman. (Facebook)

Just Posted

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

White Rock Whalers president Ronnie Paterson (inset photo) is hopeful the team and City of White Rock will be able to find a solution that will allow the Whalers and their PJHL opponents to use the dressing rooms at Centennial Arena. (Jody Harris photo)
Whalers waiting to hear on dressing-room availability as PJHL home-opener looms

White Rock team owner ‘confident’ hurdles can be overcome in talks with city

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

Not everybody lined up to vote on Saturday. In Surrey, 68,396 mail-in ballots still need to be counted for the final election tally. (Black Press Media)
North Surrey voters steer left, South Surrey voters steer right

Once again, it’s NDP orange in the city’s north end, Liberal red in the south

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read