Shannon Wheaton, his wife, Trina and one of their sons have been identified in media reports as being three of the seven people who died in the two vehicle crash which happened Friday in Northern Alberta on Highway 63 near Boyle, about 200 kilometres north of Edmonton.
Also among the victims were Mark Penney who has strong family connections in Smith’s Harbour, and his wife Courtney who was six months pregnant. Courtney lost her life in the accident, but Mark is currently in hospital where he’s listed in serious but stable condition.
Wheaton was a Family Ministries pastor at Family Christian Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He was also known in this area of the province as a youth pastor with the Pentecostal Church in Springdale at one point of his career.
The Wheaton’s other child, a four-year-old boy, survived the accident with minor injuries. He has since returned home to Newfoundland and Labrador with his grandfather.
The crash is reported to have been between two pickup trucks - one containing the Wheaton and Penney families, and the other with three individuals who were all killed as a result of the accident. The stretch of road where it happened is known as one of the most dangerous in Alberta.
Services in Burlington and Springdale on Sunday contained moments of prayer for the victims and families involved.