Family of student killed in Highway 401 crash say they learned of his death on Instagram
A man who was a beacon of pride for his small village in India is among five people killed in a horrifying crash on Highway 401 this weekend.
Twenty-three-year-old Pawan Kumar moved to Canada from Lilas, a village of 2,600 in the state of Haryana two years ago.
Cousin Aman Jayani tells CTV News Toronto family members learned of Kumar's death through a post on Instagram.
Ontario Provincial Police say Kumar was one of eight people in a van hit by a tractor trailer along Highway 401 at 3:45 a.m. Saturday.
OPP Const. Maggie Pickett says just before the collision, the van stopped in a live lane of the highway between Belleville and Trenton and one person got out.
Pickett could not say why the van had stopped.
The driver of the truck and the person who got out of the van were not hurt. Five men were killed and two other people were seriously injured.
Twenty-three-year-old Pawan Kumar moved to Canada from Lilas, a village of 2,600 in the state of Haryana two years ago.
Police say Jaspinder Singh, 21, Karanpal Singh, 22, Mohit Chouhan, 23, Harpreet Singh, 24, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Jayani says his Kumar is the youngest of five siblings with a reputation for being very sweet.
When Jayani's father died from COVID-19 last year, he said Kumar was calling offering money or other help.
Kumar's family had been counting on him to thrive in Canada, and help them.
"When he left we were all feeling proud, that our boy has gone to Canada to study. No one from the village had ever done that before," Jayani said. "If family member becomes a success it improves the lives of all the family members."
Kumar's family is desperate to bring his body back to India for a proper goodbye.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the effort.
The High Commissioner of India to Canada says the Consulate General is also supporting the friends of victims.
A religious service for the men killed is being planned for this weekend in Brampton.
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