Two children and three women killed in a highway crash in South Surrey, B.C., were all related, friends told CBC News.
Gurmit Sachdeva, who runs a South Asian sweet shop, lost two children, his wife, mother and sister in the crash on Sunday.
"The husband is in shock, like the one who lost his children," said Dr. Inderjit K. Dadiala, who runs a clinic in the same strip mall as Sachdeva Sweets.
"He is so much in shock. We are neighbours and all we feel the pain," she added.
The family was leaving a prayer service when their Toyota Corolla was T-boned by the driver of a white minivan, who police believe sped through a red light.
The 46-year-old minivan driver, a man from Langley, was the only survivor of the crash. He is in serious but stable condition in hospital and will likely face charges, Surrey RCMP said.
The Sachdeva family’s Toyota was sheared in half by the force of the crash. Police said the occupants died almost instantly.
Among the dead are Gurmit Sachdeva's 31-year-old wife, Rina, his 47-year-old wife sister Neelam Dhingra — who arrived from India just days ago — and his mother, Vidya Sachdeva, aged 68.
The child victims were a five-year-old boy, Annish, and three-year-old Jessica, who locals remembered fondly.
"Little ones, they used to come here, get their hair cut. And the little angel, she used to come here with her grandpa to get candies from us. [It's] heartbreaking, it's very hard to believe that they're gone," said Jas Gill, who runs a business near the family’s shop, which was closed on Monday.
The family have asked for privacy as they deal with the loss.
Speaking at a press conference, Insp. Lee Chanin said the speed of the minivan has not yet been determined, but given the impact and damage to the vehicles, it is likely speed was a factor.
"To this point, my investigators have learned the Caravan went through a red light," he said.
RCMP said there is no red light camera at the intersection where the collision took place, but other cameras nearby may have tracked the crash.
Chanin said there is a strong likelihood of charges against the minivan driver, once a full investigation had been carried out.
The investigation is expected to be complex and take several months.