Passenger in Fond-du-Lac plane crash has died, family says

Arson Fern Jr., one of 25 people aboard a plane that crashed following takeoff from Fond-du-Lac, Sask., earlier this month, has died from his injuries, says the family of the 19-year-old.

Money raised from GoFundMe will be used to purchase headstone for Arson Fern Jr.

Arson Fern Jr. was in critical condition and being treated at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. His family said in an online update that the 19-year-old has died. (Fern family/GoFundMe)

One of the 25 people aboard a plane that crashed on Dec. 13 shortly after takeoff from Fond-du-Lac, Sask., has died of his injuries, according to an online update from his family.

Arson Fern Jr., 19, had been critically injured and was being treated at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. 

"Thank you everyone that [has] donated to the family of Arson Jr.," said a GoFundMe.com update posted Wednesday morning. "[T]hey are so [grateful] for that. Arson Jr. is no longer with us, may he rest in peace."

Arson Fern Sr. told CBC his son had been pinned in the plane after the crash and that his wife, Janey, remained with Arson Jr. to keep him calm. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

The West Wind Aviation ATR-42  plane, bound for Stony Rapids, had 22 passengers and three crew members aboard. Engine failure was ruled out as cause of the crash.

Transport Canada has since suspended the airline's operations certificate.

The Fern family's update said the money raised from GoFundMe will now be used to buy a headstone for Arson Jr.

He had cerebral palsy and functioned at the level of a six-year-old or seven-year-old, according to his father, Arson Fern Sr.

He told CBC his son had been pinned in the plane after the crash and that his wife, Janey, remained with Arson Jr. to keep him calm. 

Others aboard the plane suffered multiple injuries with varying severity, but Arson Jr. is the only person who died.

Airline issues condolences

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, West Wind Aviation said it was "devastated" and "overwhelmed with sadness" at the news of Arson Jr.'s death.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers' family and friends during this difficult time," the statement read.

"The well-being of our passengers and crew remains our greatest priority. As the accident in Fond-du-Lac is investigated, we will continue to provide passengers and crew members involved in the accident with ongoing support including access to trauma counsellors."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the Transportation Safety Board of Canada suspended the airline's air operator certificate. In fact, Transport Canada suspended the certificate. A previous version of this story misattributed a quote. Transport Canada did not say that grounding West Wind's flights points to a possible "glaring discrepancy" in the company's safety procedures. In fact, it was a former Transport Canada inspector who said that.
    Dec 27, 2017 11:17 AM CT