Volume 12 Week 5

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Orléans Ward
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(Posted 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22)
Orléans father, teenage son killed in head on collision near Perth

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

An Orléans man and his 16-year-old son were killed in a head on collision on Hwy. 7 near Perth this morning in an accident that was likely caused by black ice.

John David Duffy, 47, and his son Thomas were travelling west in a minivan with Thomas' brother Eric Duffy, 10, and a 57-year-old male friend, when the vehicle crossed the centre line shortly before 7:30 a.m. and collided head on with a minivan travelling eastbound.

The driver of the second minivan, identified as Karen Thompson, 39 of Mountain Grove, was also killed in the accident. The 10-year-old boy and the male passenger, identified as Steve Hambling, 53 of Ottawa, were airlifted to CHEO and the Ottawa Civic respectively with undisclosed injuries. Both are reported to be in serious condition.

Duffy was employed by the City of Ottawa as the program director at the South Fallingbrook Community Centre. He was also the president of Fortune Freestyle, a freestyle skiing club at Camp Fortune.

Lyne Proulx worked with Duffy at the Community Centre. She describes him as an avid skier and a dedicated family man.

"He was a wonderful father. He loved spending time with his kids skiing every weekend in the winter and water ramping and trampolining in the summer," says Proulx. "He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him."

Thomas Duffy was an up-and-coming freestyle skier who received an Ottawa Sports Award at last year's Ottawa Sports Awards dinner. He was also a popular Grade 10 student at École secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde.

According to his Facebook page, one of Thomas' favourite athletes was freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died last month as a result of injuries she suffered during a training run. Eric is also a freestyle skier. A third child, Victoria, skis slalom and is an instructor at Camp Fortune.

Duffy and his two sons were on their way to a National Competition near Toronto when the accident happened. Road conditions in the area were reported to be slick with patches of black ice. In an interview with the Ottawa Sun, Frontenac News editor Jeff Green described the section of road the accident occurred as "dangerous".

The crash happened 20 km west of Perth on a curve with Silver Lake on one side and a rock cut on the other. Green suspects runoff from the rock cut may have frozen on the asphalt roadway.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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