CALGARY – The parents of three young sisters killed in a central Alberta farming incident spoke publicly Wednesday afternoon, sharing memories of their daughters and expressing gratitude for the support they’ve received.
“To say we’re overwhelmed at how this is unfolding is an understatement,” said Roger Bott. “We ourselves are still in shock with everything that’s going on.”
3 young sisters killed in farming incident in central Alberta
READ MORE: ‘We’ll see them again,’ Bott family says of 3 daughters killed on Alberta farm
Sisters Catie, 13, Dara, 11, and Jana, 11, were playing on a truck loaded with canola at a rural property near Withrow, Alta. on Oct. 13 when they were buried by the seed.
Bott and his wife, Bonita, addressed the public at the Withrow Gospel Mission.
“We’re very encouraged with help in practical ways at home and on the farm and the phone calls and the visits,” said Roger. “We’ve enjoyed reading the supportive comments on Facebook and the GoFundMe page. They’ve been carrying us through, too.”
“We’re encouraged by people from all walks of life coming together to help us out. We’re unbelievably humbled by everything.”
The Innisfail Auction Market raised funds by selling a steer and calves over and over as buyers donated them repeatedly for resale. They also sold an Edmonton Oilers jersey autographed by Taylor Hall. The efforts raised a total of $31,490 for the Bott family.
A steer donated by the Dodd family of Innisfail, Alta. to support the Botts after the tragic death of their children. Mia Sosiak / Global News
A steer donated by the Dodd family of Innisfail, Alta. to support the Botts after the tragic death of their children.
Mia Sosiak / Global News
The cattle were donated by Innisfail family Ryan and Theresa Dodd, and Eckville rancher Murray Stauffer, who knew the Bott family and donated three calves for each of the three little girls involved in the accident.
From left: Theresa and Ryan Dodd with their children on Oct. 21, 2015. Mia Sosiak / Global News
From left: Theresa and Ryan Dodd with their children on Oct. 21, 2015.
Mia Sosiak / Global News
The Botts shared memories of their daughters, and said their faith is getting them through the tragedy.
“As far as where the girls are now, we’re confident they’re with Jesus,” said Roger. “God is a very big part of our lives. We’ve raised our kids and will continue to raise Caleb in learning from the Bible and what it says about living life here and how to get to heaven when we die.”
Bonita added they’ll miss the girls very much, but emphasized the importance of getting through the days ahead.
“We’re not concerned about where they are; we’re looking forward to when we’ll see them again,” said Roger.
The family had previously released a written statement about the incident through the RCMP, in which they stated they do not regret raising their daughters on their farm, saying “it was our life.”
A funeral will be held Friday at Crossroads Church in Red Deer at 1 p.m.
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The hamlet of Withrow is located about 15 kilometres east of Rocky Mountain House, about 200 kilometres north of Calgary.
With files from Mia Sosiak