Days after a fatal crash claimed the lives of a local family of five, the small community of Rosetown is continuing to struggle with the tragedy.
Former Humboldt Bronco Troy Gasper, his wife Carissa and their three children died at the scene along with a 71-year-old woman from Swift Current after their two SUVs collided north of Elrose on Friday.
The Gaspers were well-known in Rosetown, and their loss is impacting the entire town, according to mayor Adam Krieser.
“A lot of hurt, a lot of tears, wondering ‘Why?'” he told 650 CKOM Wednesday.
Word of the tragedy spread Friday evening and Saturday morning, after many had left town for the Canada Day long weekend.
Krieser said he was “shell-shocked” by the news, and the return to work has brought a new round of pain for many.
“You start seeing a different group of friends, your work family, and everyone starts re-living it again,” he said.
He noted he was still getting to know the Gaspers, after they moved in down the street.
“Our kids are about the same age, so we were getting to know them through that,” he said.
Krieser added it’s been difficult for parents across town to explain what happened to their children.
“Kids or grandkids are grappling with the same questions (as adults) and you try to explain it to them,” he said. “It’s not necessarily acceptable to four, five, six, seven year olds, and honestly 37 or 47 year olds. It’s impossible to explain.”
He said it would take hours to explain exactly what the Gasper family meant to Rosetown, but he hopes people who knew them continue to share stories with each other.
“It’s part of the healing process in the end,” he said. “The memories, and talking about it when we can.”
A public memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Friday at the AGT Centre — Rosetown’s local arena.
Shanidar Funeral Services said they are expecting the arena to reach capacity at 1,500 attendees.
Rosetown’s population is approximately 2,500.