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For week ended November 21, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001

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Farm tragedy rocks LDS family in Beaumont

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Farm tragedy rocks LDS family in Beaumont
Edmonton Alberta Canada Sun 15Nov99 P2
By Karen Decoux: Edmonton Sun

CHERRY GROVE, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Last Saturday, 14-year-old Melanie Edna Morais, her older sister Cindy, 18 and Cindy's fiancee Lawrence Sidney Keen, 24, were all riding on a tractor on Keen's farm when the tractor rolled over on a manure pile and crushed the threesome, killing Keen and Melanie outright, and seriously injuring Cindy. The area is located about 290 km northeast of Edmonton.

Brenda Morneau, a friend of Donald and Ginette Morais, Melanie's parents, said, "They're Mormon and have strong family values. They're strong in their faith. I think Ginette's having a hard time. Donald is trying to be strong for his wife." The family has eight other children, ranging in age from six to 27.

Jim Hatch, a fellow ward member who was involved in comforting Melanie's girlfriend and her brother Greg, 16, who witnessed the accident said, "They were just young kids - somebody that didn't have to see what they saw. The one girl kept saying, 'She died in my arms,' " Hatch said.

Alberta Agriculture's farm safety specialist said he'll likely be heading to Cherry Grove this week for an investigation. "It's very tragic. We've probably had 14 fatalities or more this year on farms," Agent Gary Jones said. "It's the most hazardous occupation in the country."

Lawrence Keen was described by a neighbor as a hard worker, very nice, and very polite. He was trying to rebuild his parents' farm in preparation for his marriage to Cindy.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information