A Kamloops family that received an outpouring of support after a speeding car crashed through the walls of their Tranquille Road apartment is still dealing with the effects more than a year later.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2017, a westbound car left Tranquille Road and crashed into an apartment complex, causing extensive damage, but sparing anyone from serious injury.
The driver, Kevin Percy, left the scene, but was later found, arrested and charged. Percy was later found guilty of driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention and given a $1,000 fine and a three-month driving prohibition.
Living inside that apartment were Michelle Embury, Dan Benson and the couple’s two children — Michael-William, 5, and Sarah-Louise, 6.
Embury said thinking about the sentence Percy received brings up feelings of anger and frustration.
Her son was asleep inside the bedroom the car crashed through and, if it weren’t for a nightmare Sarah-Louise had earlier that night, causing her to leave her own bed, the six-year-old may not have escaped injury.
“My kids still wake up at night and to this day they still talk about the accident. We all just call it, ‘the accident’ now,” Embury said.
Since the accident, Embury has been dealing with lawyers and ICBC, still trying to sort out costs of the damage caused to her apartment and belongings.
The family is also still recovering in terms of the psychological damage from the accident.
“All four of us suffer from PTSD — my husband not so much because he wasn’t home,” she said.
Although the family has a counsellor in mind they would like to see, the process of getting those visits covered by ICBC has been tricky and Embury said the family can’t afford to pay upfront.
She added that her husband, who coincidentally lost his job the same day as the accident, hasn’t returned to work and is “super protective” of their kids.
For now, Embury said the couple is just trying to keep things positive for the children.
“Our son is in Beavers for the first year and he’s in kindergarten and loving it, I think. It depends on his mood,” she said.
“And our daughter is in Brownies and in Grade 2 and she’s just loving all of it.”
A GoFundMe started by a family friend following the accident raised $1,665 for the family to help them get back on their feet while they were displaced. They also received clothing and furniture donations from family and people in the community — some of which they have gone on to donate to others themselves.
The family ended up moving to another unit in the building.
Embury said she is staying positive and remembering how the community came together to help the family.
“The generosity of people in the community was just phenomenal.
“We really want people to know we appreciate it because we couldn’t thank everybody,” she said. “2019 will be a better year. That’s all I can say. It has to be.”