SQUANCE email@example.com_county.nottawasaga.collingwood.the_connection 2003-10-24 published
Highway crash claims two lives
Two Thornbury-area men are dead and four others seriously injured, after a two vehicle collision occurred this past stormy Monday night.
The Collingwood Blue Mountains Ontario Provincial Police said shortly before 9 p.m., they believe a 1977 Chevrolet Nova crossed the centre line of Highway 26 west of Craigleith, before colliding head-on with a 1999 Dodge Caravan.
The driver of the Nova 33-year-old Trevor SQUANCE of Thornbury, and his passenger, James SIMONEK, 42, also of Thornbury, died at the scene.
The Caravan's driver, 39-year-old Colleen MORRISON of the Town of the Blue Mountains, and passengers Allan Paul INGLESON, 50, Evan GOSTICK, 15, and Travis GOSTICK, were taken from the scene to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital by ambulance.
Evan GOSTICK was later transferred to St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, while Travis, 13, was taken to The Hospital for Sick Children, also in Toronto.
The Ontario Provincial Police said that part of the wreckage from the crash landed in a nearby ditch, cutting a natural gas line.
The residents of a nearby home were evacuated for a short time, as a precaution, until a gas company crew capped the severed line.
The Town of the Blue Mountains Fire Department responded to assist with the removal of the victims and stood by, while the gas leak was capped.
Autopsies on both SQUANCE and SIMONEK were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Results have not yet been made public.
Police say crash scene investigators are trying to determine if speed or alcohol were contributing factors in the collision.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who has information about the collision, is asked to call the Collingwood-Blue Mountains Ontario Provincial Police detachment at 445-4321.
- Staff, Page 1
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SQUIRES firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-02-26 published
Sheilagh Ann McGRATH
By Sean McGRATH Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - Page A20
Twin, student of education, artist. Born December 12, 1966, in Saint John's, Newfoundland Died December 14, 2002, in Ottawa, of a brain tumour, aged 36.
Sheilagh McGRATH was best known for her kindness, yet she possessed a hidden heroism, which surfaced in her astonishing courage and good cheer in the face of progressively debilitating, fatal illness. She was the quiet one in a family of six talented, attention-demanding children -- my twin sister.
At the age of 16, Sheilagh was diagnosed at the Montreal Neurological Institute with an inoperable brain tumour. She had been suffering from severe headaches for some time. She was plucked from the torrent of adolescence and subjected to radiation therapy. She lost her hair -- a profound trauma for her -- and missed the better part of the school year.
Sheilagh's soft-spoken demeanor concealed a fiercely strong will. She was determined to conquer her disease. She returned to high-school and enjoyed four relatively healthy years, graduating and going on to study Early Childhood Education.
In 1986 our father, James McGRATH, was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland. Sheilagh returned to Saint John's and continued her studies at Memorial University. A relapse of tumour-related problems led to a coma and near-death. She recovered, but her weakened short-term memory forced her to drop out of university. She clung to the dream of going back. The term would invariably begin without her, but undaunted, she would plan the next.
Her strength of will manifested itself in less subtle ways. In 1987, the Earl of Wessex, then a young Prince Edward of the House of Windsor, was our guest at Government House in Saint John's. When the prince requested a quiet night, the staff was instructed not to disturb him. My parents went out. In her early 20s, with eligible royalty in the house, Sheilagh had other ideas. She put on her best dress and joined the prince and his entourage in one of the State Rooms.
In 1989, her disease progressed rapidly, leaving her wheelchair-bound. She took a keen interest in painting. The Newfoundland artist Gerald SQUIRES gave her private lessons. The watercolours she did under his tutelage are full of light and joy. They not only express her spirit, but also reflect the special bond that developed between her and SQUIRES.
Sheilagh endured multiple surgeries at the Montreal Neuro with a disarming smile. In 1992 she was moved to the Elizabeth Bruyère Heath Center in Ottawa. Out from under her parents' roof for the first time, she thrived. She entertained visitors with Scrabble, chess, or a stroll through the Byward Market. A one-person cottage industry in the arts and crafts room, she created her Christmas presents by hand. She became a member of the Residents' Council and a persistent advocate of the rights of patients. The elderly Alzheimer's patients troubled her at first. She came to understand that she was called to minister to them, to befriend them, listen to them, or simply reach out and touch them.
In her last year, Sheilagh lost her power of movement, her speech, and most of her vision. In his homily at her funeral in the basilica in Ottawa, Father Norm BONNEAU expressed the paradox of her extraordinary transformation through suffering: "The more restricted in body, the freer her spirit; the greater the setback, the greater her courage; the greater the affliction, the gentler her kindness." As her physical existence declined, her serenity increased. By the end of her life she was an entirely other-centered person. Her death, in the presence of her family, was a definitive "Yes" to life. With gentleness, grace, and silent resolve, Sheilagh McGRATH let the world go.
Sean McGRATH is Sheilagh's twin brother.
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