Candle light up planned for Kelowna toddler who was fatally struck by car - InfoNews

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Candle light up planned for Kelowna toddler who was fatally struck by car

A picture of Gaige and his father, Mark Banman, from the GoFundMe.
April 22, 2020 - 11:18 AM

Kelowna residents are being asked to light a candle and place it in a window or a doorway tonight, April 22, to honour the life of a toddler who was fatally struck by a car near his home.

Gaige Banman, one and a half, was near his home on McCurdy Road when he died. Little information has been made publicly available about the details, but the tragedy of the incident has been felt far and wide — something made clear through the outpouring of grief on a GoFundMe page for the family that has more than doubled its set goal and been filled with comments from people expressing heartache.

Victoria Sweetman came up with the idea for the candle light-up for Gaige and his family when she realized how the quarantine had limited the normal channels of grief.

“I am just wanting them to have the type of support from the community they need and deserve,” Sweetman said.

“The community needs a way to let the Banman family know that they are in our thoughts and prayers. If this is all we can do at this time, I hope it can bring some comfort.”

In a Facebook post from earlier in the day, where she tested the water for the idea and got a lot of positive feedback.

“Usually under such horrible circumstances the community would come out and support those grieving with flowers are candle light vigils,” she said.

“It is so sad that we can't show this type of support at this time. I'm thinking of Gaige Banman's parents and siblings and I'm wondering if they're getting the support that they need and deserve. I'm suggesting that we as the amazing community of Rutland all light a candle for little Gaige Banman tonight at 8 p.m on our front doorstep.

She’s asked that people post pictures on a Facebook page she created of their lit candles at 8 p.m.

Just after 2:45 p.m. April 19 the one-and-a-half year old was struck by a car in the 500 block of McCurdy Road, according to Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, of the Kelowna RCMP in a press release.

It's unclear what the circumstances of the fatal crash involve, but the B.C. Coroners Service has been notified and is investigating the circumstances surrounding the child’s sudden death.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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