Community rallying around family after tragedy strikes

Fundraisers are being planned to support the family of five-year-old Jaedyn Amann, who died last Wednesday in Watson Lake, Yukon.

FIve-year-old Jaedyn Amann died last Wednesday in the Yukon. A trust fund has been set up for her family

FIve-year-old Jaedyn Amann died last Wednesday in the Yukon. A trust fund has been set up for her family

Ladysmith area residents are rallying around the family of five-year-old Jaedyn Amann, who was struck by a falling soccer goal post in Watson Lake, Yukon, last Wednesday.

According to Chief Coroner Kirsten MacDonald, Amann was playing on a high school soccer field with friends when the net tipped over and hit her on the back of the head. She was rushed to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The RCMP are still investigating the incident.

Born in Nanaimo, Jaedyn is the eldest child of Paul Amann and Tara Hicks.

Hilda Brown, Jaedyn’s great grandmother, said the family is well-known in Ladysmith and resides in Cedar during the winter season.

“Jaedyn was about to start kindergarten out in the Cedar district,” she said.

Outpourings of donations and support have already begun surfacing in the community. A trust fund account has been set up at the Island Savings at Coronation Mall, and plans are in the works for a garage sale and beer and burger night.

“We can’t ease their pain, but maybe we can help with the financial burden,” said Necole Young, a family friend who is organizing the garage sale and burger night.

Young said enough donations of goods have already started coming in that they will be holding a silent auction during the beer and burger night. That includes more than $1,000 in gift baskets, a $200 photography certificate and a tattoo certificate.

“It started with three people and all of a sudden, I had over 25 people offering their help,” she said. “Everybody knows the family.”

Young is still hoping to gather together more gently-used items for the garage sale. A date and place had not been set by press time.

Brown described Jaedyn as a petite little lady who loved to visit her grandparents and be active.

“She played soccer with her buddies and loved it,” she said. “Jay, as we called her, loved spending time with her special cousin Mercedez, the two girls giggling while her younger brother Parker tagged along. There are many precious memories.”

Yukon Education Minister Scott Kent sent out a news release Friday expressing condolences to the family and stating that the Department of Education is conducting its own investigation into the incident “to see what actions they can take to contribute to increased safety.”

As a short-term precaution, all movable soccer nets in the area are being removed for a thorough safety assessment.

Brown said she hopes that further lives will be spared the same tragedy, and she advised parents to cherish every moment.

“Hug your kids,” she said tearfully.

To find out how you can help with the Fundraiser for Jaedyn, contact Necole at 250-618-8344 and stay tuned to the Chronicle for further details.

An Epicure Fundraiser is also being held, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the cause. For more information, contact Jenny at jennyaday@gmail.com.

An account has also been opened up at the Junction Bottle Depot in Jaedyn’s name for anyone wishing to donate their empties.