A 20-year-old woman and her seven-month-old daughter died early Tuesday morning when their SUV was hit by a loaded semi-tractor trailer one hour southwest of Edmonton.
Rebecca Shipton, from the nearby village of Breton, was driving west of Warburg at about 1 a.m. with her daughter, Emma, when she crossed the centre line on a bridge into the path of the tanker truck, police said.
"It's absolutely a tragedy, said RCMP Sgt. Gary Hollender. "It's a seven-month-old female child and her mother who have perished in a very traumatic accident."
“We got a phone call that said one of our family members had passed away in a car accident,” said Shipton’s cousin Mikayla Thompson.
“We are very sorry she died really young. She was such a great girl, a great mom – a new mom too ... It's just hard on all of us.”
Thompson said this collision comes after a series of tragic events for her cousin, who split up with her baby’s father only two weeks ago.
Then, last week, Shipton’s older brother died.
So far police don't know why the SUV crossed the line.
"We can see no mechanical reasons or environmental or roadway reasons why this collision should have occurred," Hollender said, adding that police may never know what caused the woman to cross the centre line.
Police said it was remarkable the driver of the semi was not hurt – even though his truck ended up in ditch and was gutted by fire.
Highway 39 was closed for several hours at Range Road 33 near Warburg as police continued their investigation.