UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Family Support Fund Delivers First Cheques to Hampstead Tragedy Survivors
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London, ON - May 9, 2012 - Two survivors of a horrific collision near Hampstead, Ontario that killed or injured 14 people have become the first recipients from a nation-wide fund set up by UFCW Canada and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) to support and assist the families of the workers killed or injured in the two-vehicle crash in February.
On February 6, Javier Aldo Medina and Juan Jose Ariza were riding in a van with 11 other migrant agricultural workers when it collided with a truck near Hampstead. Medina, Ariza and one other van passenger (who is still in a coma) were the only survivors. The Ontario driver of the truck also died in the collision.
On Wednesday, UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley visited with Javier Aldo Medina and Juan Jose Ariza at the London, Ontario long term facility where the two Peruvian citizens continue to recuperate. He presented the two men with a disbursement of $15,000 each on behalf of the UFCW Canada/AWA Migrant Workers Family Support Fund, which in the wake of the tragic accident has raised $210,000 through the generosity of UFCW Canada local unions, other labour unions, individuals and organizations across Canada, and through the tremendous support and fundraising efforts of many Latin Canadian community groups and organizations across the country.
The disbursements were the first two of 14 equal portions to be distributed to the individuals or families of the 14 workers who were killed or injured in the Hampstead tragedy.
"The thoughts of all who donated to the Fund are with you, and with the families of all those who died and were injured in the collision," the UFCW Canada leader told the two survivors. "We hope you are soon reunited with your loved ones, and our hearts go out to the other families who lost a son or father in this terrible tragedy."
The remaining disbursements to the other families of the men killed or injured in the accident are being finalized.