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Friday, July 12, 2013


Not another one.” That was the only thought that entered Norma Guerin’s grief-stricken mind when she heard the tragic news of her sister Roseann Guerin’s death in a freak horse-riding accident in Ladner on Wednesday. “It’s just not fair,” an emotional Guerin told The Province, who is the last remaining sibling in the family that has dealt with enormous tragedy in recent years. Guerin’s brother Murray died several years ago in a boating accident, and their younger sister Jasmine died at a young age in circumstances she did not want to disclose. “My parents are beside themselves losing three children now,” said Guerin, her voice shaking as she fought back tears. On Wednesday, Roseann, 43, and her 18-year-old daughter Megan Rogers were riding their horses up the driveway of their home in the 3600-block of 34th Street in Ladner when a dog, believed to be the family’s dog, suddenly spooked the mother’s horse, throwing her to the ground as it galloped away. Her daughter’s horse followed and threw her to the ground while trying to jump a ditch, according to Delta Police, who were called to the scene at 8:40 p.m. The mother suffered severe head injuries from the fall, said Sgt. Cieran Feenan. Nearby residents performed CPR until paramedics arrived and she was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital. Despite efforts to save her, Guerin succumbed to her injuries late Wednesday night. Megan’s horse, who was stuck in a ditch, was pulled out by firefighters Wednesday night with the help of a nearby farmer’s tractor. Megan was treated for injuries, including scrapes to her face and bruises to her left leg, said Feenan. Norma Guerin described Roseann as a loving mother-of-three and devoted wife who was always “full of life.” Aside from her daughter, Guerin said Roseann was mother to 19-year-old son Ryan and 21-year-old son Justin. She was also helping raise her niece Rheena after the teen’s dad, her brother, passed away. She said Roseann’s husband Gary Abrams was in shock Thursday. The couple were in the middle of planning their upcoming 12th wedding anniversary next month. “That’s his world,” said Guerin. “He just adored Roseann. They were true soulmates.” A sombre mood fell over Roseann’s family home on Thursday as relatives and members of the Musqueam Indian Band, of which she was a member, gathered to rally behind the family and offer emotional support while they help plan the funeral. “In our culture and our teachings, we don’t leave people alone at this time,” said Chief Wayne Sparrow. Erin Rogers, a childhood friend who grew up riding horses with Roseann, said Ladner’s tight-knit horse-riding community was reeling after hearing the news of the freak accident. “It’s just horrible,” said a tearful Rogers. “Her poor daughter.” Also an avid horsewoman, Rogers said the incident is a painful reminder that horse-riding can be a dangerous sport. “We do it because we love it,” she said. “But we’re lucky every time we come back, basically.” Kara Lingam, stable manager of Dogwood Stables, said the family, who live across the street, had boarded their horses at their stables for the past few years. Lingam said Roseann only recently bought the horse she was riding Wednesday. The horse was young and considered “green,” she said, meaning it didn’t have a lot of training. Lingam said she doesn’t believe Roseann or her daughter were wearing helmets when they were thrown. According to the B.C. Coroners Service, at least 28 people, including Roseann, have died while riding horses in B.C. over the past decade. Just over half those deaths occurred as a result of a fall while riding, wrote spokeswoman Barb McLintock in an email. Sixteen of the 26 deaths occurred as a direct result of a severe traumatic brain injury, and in only one of those cases was the person known to be wearing a helmet, she wrote. In some cases, the horse was known to be young, green or difficult, but in other cases, the horse had not previously caused problems but was suddenly spooked or startled. tfletcher@theprovince.com

1 comment:

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