Aleah Van Erp Obituary, Death – Aleah Van Erp, 17, Strathroy, Ontario has passed away in a tragic car accident west of London. She is remembered as an “old soul who was full of life. A single-vehicle rollover on Amiens Road, just south of Melrose Drive in Middlesex Centre, killed two individuals and badly injured two more, according to Ontario Provincial Police. It’s a rural crossroads between Komoka and Strathroy. A fifth individual was also rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to authorities.
The names of the victims have not been revealed by the OPP, however, close family friends have identified Aleah Van Erp, 17, as one of those killed. Van Erp, a Grade 12 student at Strathroy District collegiate high school, was described as a kind daughter and sister who enjoyed the outdoors, painting, photography, and animals by Karen Bodkin, a family acquaintance.
“She was an ancient spirit who loved nature,” said Bodkin. “She was mostly photographing the trees and the sky,” she explained. She was a wonderful young lady. She had the rest of her life ahead of her.” Van Erp worked to save money for her two cocker spaniels, Pepper and Harley, and had applied to college with the intention of becoming a veterinary technician, according to Lisa Metivier, another family member. “She adores all animals,” she explained. Strathroy High School pupils were all engaged in the crash.
“They’d been a great trio of friends since Grade 3,” Metivier said of Van Erp and two other young ladies in the vehicle, one of whom perished. “The deaths of these two companions, along with the pain left behind for the third, have broken the family,” she said. In an email to parents on Thursday, the principal of Strathroy District collegiate said, “there has been a reported tragic event in our community,” and that updates would be issued as more information became available. “This type of incident has a profound impact on everyone,” stated principal Stephanie Hambides. “We’ve included some information for parents and caregivers on common reactions that youth have when faced with such stress, as well as what may be successful in assisting them through this.”
The school’s “traumatic event response team” was accessible online on Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide individual and group support to students. During the holiday season, Hambides emphasized the availability of additional community resources and promised that school authorities will continue to support children when they returned in January. Friends and people of the community expressed their condolences on Friday. “There is pain in our community this morning,” Strathroy-Caradoc Mayor Colin Grantham said on social media. “I want to express our condolences to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy, especially the families,” he added, adding that “the entire community is thinking of you this morning.”
On Thursday, Amiens Road was closed for many hours due to the inquiry. It reopened just after 5 p.m., according to West Region OPP, who described it as a “sad day for all involved.” By late afternoon Friday, an internet fundraising drive for Van Erp’s family had amassed nearly $20,000 in donations. Van Erp, the youngest of two siblings, enjoyed visiting to the seaside with her family. “She’d find peace while looking for the perfect gemstones to bring home,” Metivier explained. Click to visit Aleah Van Erp GoFundMe page.