'I lost it all': Mother speaks out after three children killed in New Year's crash
SUDBURY -- Less than a week ago, Uche Osagie's life changed forever when her three children were killed in a collision on a northern Ontario highway on New Year's Day.
It is a devastating and unimaginable loss, but she is now sharing her story.
Osagie, a mother from the Greater Sudbury community of Chelmsford, was driving when her car hit a rock cut on Highway 17, killing her children Destiny, Flourish, and Britney.
Eight years ago, Osagie fled Nigeria with the two older children.
"I thought I was doing the best thing for them to bring them to Canada to give them a better life, but I don’t know anymore," said Osagie.
The Osagie family lived in a shelter in Toronto before coming to Sudbury this past October.
On Dec. 18, Osagie received a letter that her second appeal for permanent residency was denied, meaning she had to travel to Toronto to get a lawyer to file a federal appeal.
The family and two others were travelling home when the crash happened.
"The celebration they longed for, they are no longer here to celebrate. So, to me, I think I'm a loser. I lost it all. All my fight, everything, is in vain and I ask myself, once again, and I keep asking God, 'Why did you keep me?' You should have taken me and let those children have a better future. It’s all about them. I lived all my life for those kids," said Osagie.
Her friend, Christian Mgbokwere, blames the immigration system for the loss.
"If not because of these immigration issues, those children would be with us now. Most of the families here are facing the same situation. We are hardworking people. All we want is the opportunity to be here and be productive here, be a positivity in society, to work here, to raise these children with a better future, a better tomorrow. I’m using this opportunity to beg people to please help us with immigration services," said Mgbokwere.
The loss has rocked the community and flags are flying half-mast at the school all three children attended.
Rainbow District School Board says its mental health team was on site Monday, as students return to school after the holiday break, to help both students and staff cope with this tragedy.
In the meantime, plans are still in the works for the funerals, which will likely take place in the next week. Members of the community have raised close to $17,000 for the family through a Go Fund Me Campaign called OSAGIE Chelmsford Family Tragedy Hwy 17 accident.
"It’s going to help me bury my children, and I'm so grateful, so grateful, gives me hope," said Osagie.