BY KELLY ROCHE & DOUG HEMPSTEAD
A dedicated father and ski enthusiast was one of three killed, along with his teenage son, in a two-vehicle crash that injured two others, closing Hwy. 7 for hours Wednesday.
John David Duffy, 47 and his son, Thomas Duffy, 16, from Orleans were pronounced dead at the scene, about 120 km west of Ottawa.
They were going to a national ski competition near Toronto.
The elder Duffy, known as David, was a program coordinator at the South Fallingbrook Community Centre in the city’s east end where he managed about 60 staff.
“He went there to coach his two sons,” said colleague Lyne Proulx.
She describes him as someone who loved to ski.
“That’s all he did and talked about,” said Proulx.
“Even in the summer, he couldn’t wait for the snow to fall.”
Thomas was a star freestyle skier who was in Grade 11 at Ecole secondaire publique Gisele-Lalonde.
Duffy and his wife, Louise, have three children, Victoria, 18, Thomas and Eric, 10, who all ski competitively.
Duffy was the president of Fortune Freestyle, a local club for young skiers.
“We’re all really devastated right now,” said club registrar Lissa Heringer.
“We’re just kind of reeling.”
Karen Thompson, 39, of Mountain Grove, was alone in the other vehicle and was also pronounced dead at the scene.
The Duffys were travelling west in a minivan that provincial police say went out of control, crossed the centre line and collided with an eastbound van around 7:25 a.m.
Two other passengers in the Duffys’ minivan were taken to Perth Hospital with serious injuries.
The 53-year-old man and 10-year-old boy have since been transferred to the Civic and CHEO respectively, according to Lanark County OPP Const. David Bird.
The crash happened near Silver Lake, about 20 km west of Perth.
Road conditions throughout the Ottawa Valley and Lanark Highlands were reported early Wednesday as very slick due to black ice.
Simon Spanchak lives in the area and said the accident happened “almost on my doorstep.”
In the 13 years he’s been there, fatalities are all too common.
“You hear the sirens going down the road. Sometimes you hear the accident,” said Spanchak.