WINNIPEG — Candy Volk was there when her grandson Anthony was born. She never thought she'd watch him take his last breath only 10 months later.
"I held him in my arms and he took his last breath and he went to be with his mom," the grandmother said through tears Wednesday.
"This isn’t fair. This isn’t right. He was just a baby."
Anthony, who was called A.J., died Wednesday morning from injuries related to a vehicle crash that killed his mother a month before.
Jennifer Dethmers, 30, died Sept. 26 when the van they were in was hit by a truck, which Winnipeg police said was speeding away after officers attempted to pull it over.
Police have charged the truck’s driver, Armand Joseph Jr. Chartrand, 43, with a dozen offences, including dangerous driving causing death and driving while suspended.
Additional charges are expected to be laid in the coming days, police said.
"I lost my daughter and I lost my grandson all in a number of weeks," Volk said as smoke from a healing smudge circled around her and nearby family members.
"I don’t know what to do. I’m so lost."
Dethmers was so excited to be a mom and had decorated the house for Halloween prior to the crash, Volk said. She also bought presents for Anthony's upcoming birthday in December and for Christmas.
Volk called Anthony her little bambino and said he was funny and rarely cried. He was determined to crawl fast to keep up with his older cousins, she said, and was the strongest warrior she'd ever known.
"He was brave and he was strong and he had so much courage," the grandmother said. "But that accident caused so much damage to his little body that he couldn’t fight it."
Police said in September that officers had tried to pull the truck over in a traffic stop but it took off at a high rate of speed. Within seconds, it collided with the van about two blocks away.
Dethmers’ partner and stepdaughter, who were in the van, were also taken to hospital.Family said they have since been released.
Manitoba's Independent Investigation Unit is also looking into the crash.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020.