CALGARY - Two developmentally- challenged teenagers have been orphaned after a head-on collision claimed three generations of a single family.
The crash happened between a Ford Taurus and a Dodge Ram pickup truck just before 11 p.m. Friday on Highway 509, about 18 kilometres north of Standoff.
Everyone inside the car died on scene. The victims have since been identified as 46- year-old Cst. Sheldon Twigg, his 40-year-old wife Kim, 21-year-old daughter Lacey, and three-year-old granddaughter Brielle.
Twigg was an 18-year veteran of the Lethbridge Regional Police Service (LRPS) and was the first Aboriginal member hired for a fulltime position.
CTV News is told he had recently moved to a desk job as he neared retirement, working as the Diversity Resource Officer for the LRPS – a position where he served as the intermediary between the police service and all cultures in the community. He had previously worked as a patrol member and School Resource Officer.
"This is a tragic loss for our police service," said Police Chief Tom McKenzie.
"Because Sheldon is married and had two boys and Lacey…and a granddaughter, they all are a very big part of our policing family."
Before he joined the LRPS, Twigg served as a member of the Blood Tribe Police Service for two years.
He also spent 15 years as a bull rider, winning the Chief Mountain Rodeo Association bull riding championship in 1988 and at one point qualifying for the World Classic Finals Rodeo.
Police say the crash happened while the family was returning from dinner. The cause of the incident is under investigation, but officials say alcohol does not appear to be a factor.
The lone occupant of the truck, a 55-yearold man from Standoff, was airlifted to Foothills hospital after the wreckage and remains in critical condition.
Officials say the couple is survived by two teenaged sons, Riley and Dylan.
Members of the LRPS Victim/Witness Services Unit are helping other officers and family members cope with the loss.