Edmonton

Vigil held for 3 sisters buried, smothered by canola seed

About 200 people who live in farming communities around Withrow, Alta., gathered for a vigil last night to remember three sisters killed after they were buried under canola seed while they were in the back of the truck.

Neighbours chip in to help grieving family finish their harvest in wake of Alberta farm accident

People who attended a vigil at the Withrow Gospel Mission in Alberta remembered Catie Bott and her twin sisters, Dara and Jana, after they died following an accident earlier this week at the farm of parents Roger and Bonita Bott. (Facebook)

About 200 people who live in farming communities around Withrow, Alta., gathered for a vigil Wednesday night to remember three sisters killed in a farming accident.

Catie Bott, 13, and 11-year-old twins Dara and Jana Bott were on a grain truck at their parents' farm Tuesday evening when they somehow became buried under the seed and were smothered. Two girls died at the scene. The third died early Wednesday morning at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton. 

People at the vigil embraced each other as they walked into the Withrow Gospel Mission.

Women embrace outside the prayer vigil for Catie, Dara and Jana Bott on Wednesday night. (CBC )
Pastor Brian Allan, a close family friend, said members of the nearby Hutterite community joined regular members of the congregation to grieve for the girls. He said there were mixed emotions during the service.

"There was sorrow, you know, but there was a peacefulness as people were praying," Allan said.

"Of course we had different songs that were played on our audio system and it was really quite a beautiful night."

The girls' parents, Roger and Bonita Bott, are well known in the area and active in the church. They did not attend Wednesday's service. 

Allan married the Botts, and knew Catie, Dara and Jana well. The girls were involved in youth groups at the church.

Allan said the couple's faith is helping them through the shock of their daughters' deaths.

"They have a very real, very genuine faith in Christ," he said.

"At this point in time, that's what you look to. Because what do you do? How do you deal with the sudden death of your children? I know that is an anchor in their lives and I admire them for that."

The community has chipped in to help the family. Farmers brought combines to the Botts' land to finish harvesting their crops.

Pastor Brian Allan of the Withrow Gospel Mission said the faith of Roger and Bonita Bott is helping them through the tragedy. (CBC )

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