Victims identified in Calgary's fatal Metis Trail crash
Two family members lost their lives after a crash in northeast Calgary early Saturday morning.
A Toyota Corolla travelling south on Metis Trail and turning east on 128 Avenue N.E. was hit by another car heading north.
Asif Ashfaq, 42, was driving the Corolla, according to friends and the Pakistan Canada Association Calgary. His wife, 31-year-old Uzma Afzal, and his mother-in-law, 65-year-old Bilquees Begum, were killed in the crash.
Ashfaq’s father-in-law, Mohammad Afzal, 70, was taken to Foothills Medical Centre in life-threatening condition, according to paramedics and police. Friends said he was in stable condition on Sunday.
Ashfaq had minor injuries and is now staying with friends in Airdrie. He has no immediate family in Calgary.
Like many Muslims during Ramadan, the family was on their way home from an iftar dinner on Saturday.
“In the northeast community, in the Pakistani community, in the Muslim community, people are hurting a lot,” said activist Saima Jamal.
Muslim community members said this tragedy makes them wary of driving late at night.
“I was devastated,” Jamal said. “I couldn’t believe it. This is something that most Muslims, all of us, we do. We drive at around that same time, around 12:30 a.m., returning from the breaking of the fast.”
Imam Khalid Saad is calling for prayers to be shortened on Friday and Saturday nights to keep worshippers from being on the road late.
“You might find a lot of people that are drunk on Friday and Saturdays so I suggested to do the minimum prayers,” he said. “We should do it less because it is a risk for our community.”
Funerals are scheduled for Monday.
“From his friends, all I can say is they are hurting, the entire community is hurting,” Jamal said. “People are very angry, too, because this was very preventable.”
Speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors in the collision, police said.
– With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo