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2nd young woman dies in hospital after SUV plows into Uber on B.C. highway

4 women described as close friends were celebrating a birthday just before 4 a.m. Burnaby crash

The fatal car crash on Highway 1 in Burnaby involving four young women from Maple Ridge has claimed a second life.

One of the victims, 20-year-old Jenna Hepperle, died in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, after the Uber the women were riding in, which had pulled off to the side of the highway, was hit by an SUV.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, a second victim succumbed to her injuries at Vancouver General Hospital. A third woman was also sent to hospital in critical condition.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge woman killed, two critically injured in crash

The four women, described by family as close friends who were all aged 20 and 21, had been celebrating a birthday. They caught a ride home in the Uber, and the crash happened just before 4 a.m.

Lawren Caponero organized an online fundraiser to support Hepperle’s mother Bonnie Fairbairn, who is her friend and co-worker.

“Jenna, 20 years old, who was filled with so much ambition, kindness and love for others was in a fatal car accident. Her and three of her closest friends had been out celebrating and had taken an Uber home but they never made it,” Caponero wrote. “Although these girls made all the right and responsible choices, tragedy still struck and has left so many lives in ruins.”

“Bonnie is the most selfless giving person you will ever meet,” said her friend Kimberly Blanchet in social media. “She [is] a single mother [who] raised two awesome children, one boy, and one girl, who she now has to say goodbye in the most horrible way.”

The gofundme to assist with funeral and other expenses was at close to $25,000 as of Feb. 26.

There is also an online fundraiser to help the surviving victims with their bills as they miss work, and raised almost $11,000 as of Feb. 26. It was organizer by Jennifer Miller, whose daughter was involved in the crash, and has been released from hospital.

The online pages are filled with condolences for the families.

Another friend Jeanine Hayes suggests having a vomit bag in the Uber could have avoided the stop on the side of the road, with its tragic consequences.

Hayes has started an online petition mandating vomit bags be available in all hired vehicles in B.C.

“By mandating these vehicles carry vomit bags at all times, we can potentially reduce the number of roadside stops and thus decrease the risk associated with unscheduled and often dangerous pull-overs,” she writes.

Black Press has contacted BC Highway Patrol for an update on the condition of the patients, as well as the status of the crash investigation.

Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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