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Deaths of Sop’s Arm and Pollard’s Point women leaves community in shock

Traffic was delayed for hours after a two-vehicle accident near Howley Junction on the Trans-Canada Highway Wednesday.
Traffic was delayed for hours after a two-vehicle accident near Howley Junction on the Trans-Canada Highway Wednesday.

Sop’s Arm and Pollard’s Point may be two communities, but they are so close that they are basically one.

And learning that two women from those communities were killed in Wednesday morning’s head-on collision on the Trans-Canada Highway near Howley Junction has left a dark cloud over the area.

Lois Pittman is the town clerk for the Sop’s Arm local service district. She was at work at the post office when word came that a 56-year-old woman from Sop’s Arm and a 44-year-old woman from Pollard’s Point had died in the horrifying crash. A 71-year-old man from Labrador was also killed and two other people were taken to hospital in Corner Brook.

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Three killed in head-on collision near Howley Junction

 

As people came into the post office that day, Pittman said, they were shocked and numb.

“We didn’t know how to react. We just couldn’t quite grasp that we had lost two women in our community.”

Pittman said she had known the two women for a long time.

She said the Sop’s Arm woman was a very quiet person, but very friendly. She liked the outdoors — snowmobiling and ice fishing. For years she was a knitter with the Newfoundland Outport Nursing and Industrial Association (Nonia) in St. John’s.

The Pollard’s Point woman, she said, was outgoing and liked to socialize.

While there has been no organized response to the tragedy, the close-knit community is doing what it can to support the families by bringing food and visiting.

“And I think that’s the way it is with every community when something happens like this. Everybody steps up to the plate and we do whatever we can to help out under the circumstances.”

Counsellors are also available at the local high school for students struggling with the accident.

The Deer Lake Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the investigation into the accident is continuing.

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