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Hurley family remembers Aimie

Crosses still stand at the intersection of Township Road 490 and Range Road 3273.

On July 27, 2013, six young people lost their lives in a car accident involving a two-door car and a semi, which left the car underwater in a slough. In the following years, a roadside memorial was placed at the site, with a large wooden cross standing up and out among the fields of canola.

The cross is now gone.

However, a memorial still stands, in the form of a small park put together by the family of Aimie Hurley, who was 14 years old when the car went into the water. The park is accessible via a short dirt driveway, which leads to a gravel walkway lined with small white stones and flowers. The main area of the memorial features signs and three white crosses, lined with pictures and messages from family.

The park had its first memorial service on Wednesday’s sunny afternoon, with the Hurley family and friends gathering together to celebrate Aimie’s life, and tell stories about her. The atmosphere was happy, though occasional moments of sadness broke through.

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According to Gary and Donna Hurley, Aimie’s parents, the celebration is a yearly event. However, this was the first year they celebrated at the park.

“We took it upon ourselves to do what we have here, so this is our first year having a celebration like this,” said Gary.

Work had been undertaken on the space since the land was donated to the family by the neighboring farmer. Gary said he had been out in weeks previous, clearing up the grass and ‘making it presentable’. He also said a goal was to make the park low-maintenance, to make sure it wouldn’t be a burden as he and his wife are leaving Lloydminster.

Gary and Donna both said there had been plans for a memorial in the area before the park was made, but nothing came together. With that in mind, the park was created.

“If they can’t do a big memorial, let’s just do something small, that anybody can go and sit down and say a prayer, because sometimes you just need that peace and quiet, to touch your loved ones,” said Donna.

“I feel so good. I come out here now, a lot, at least two or three times a week, and sometimes I just take my book and I sit down and I just look at the butterflies going, and dragonflies, and I think that’s all the kids, flying around, and helping me get through my loss. I think it’s a good job for the limited amount of time that got put into it.”

Gary said anyone was welcome to come by the park, and visit the memorial.

“We have a water barrel, that’s for if somebody wants to come out, if they can take the time to water flowers, they’re more than welcome to plant one,” said Gary.

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“Also, with putting white stones down, they represent purity of life, so if anybody would like to come out and sprinkle white stone down, it would be a nice gesture.”

The Hurley’s want to remember their daughter, and believe the park will help keep that memory strong.

“We want people to know that she was a good kid, and this makes us warm,” said Gary.

“It keeps her memory fresh in our mind, and we just don’t want her to be forgotten.”

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