'If 'heart of gold' has a definition, it would be her': Women killed in Burlington, Ont. crash remembered
TORONTO -- Two women killed in a crash on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Burlington, Ont. on Tuesday morning are being remembered by family and friends as happy, kind and genuine human beings.
Ceara Publuske from Kitchener and Courtney Duguay from Owen Sound were killed on Tuesday morning after the Mitsubishi Lancer they were travelling in crossed over from the westbound lanes to the eastbound lanes on the QEW and struck two other vehicles at Brant Street.
Their vehicle struck an Acura and a Ford pickup truck, while a fourth vehicle rolled into the ditch, police said.
Publuske, aged 23, was driving the Mitsubishi Lancer, while Duguay was a passenger, police said. Both women were both pronounced dead at the scene, while three other people were taken to hospital suffering from various injuries.
Publuske’s cousin, Tyler Publuske, launched a GoFundMe page on Tuesday, which he says will help to cover funeral expenses.
"My cousin, Ceara Publuske, was sadly killed in a devastating motor vehicle accident involving several cars," Tyler Publuske wrote. "She was a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, always smiling, and was always quick with the witty jokes. She loved the ones around her to her fullest capacity."
"We received the worst possible news anyone can get … No one ever plans for this."
The GoFundMe page has raised more than $3,000 in the past 17 hours.
A friend told CTV News Toronto that the news of Duguay’s death still doesn’t feel real.
“Courtney was only 24, and everybody she met, or even passed, she would show all the love she could,” Agella Kodopulos said. “She believed that every day she was growing, evolving, and learning new things about herself and life. She never stopped being happy and wanting to spread joy.”
Kodopulos said that Duguay wanted to become an aesthetician and was saving up money to attend school. According to Kodopulos, Duguay had moved to Toronto in June 2020.
“She has a tattoo that says ‘tomorrow is never promised’ and that’s been hitting me all day. I’m planning on getting the same one. She’s truly one of the most genuine, happiest, true, kind, trustworthy and enthusiastic people I’ve ever met,” Kodopulos said.
“If ‘heart of gold’ has a definition, it would be her.”
The highway was closed in both directions for most of the day following the collision. The Niagara-bound lanes reopened at Brant Street just before 3 p.m. and the Toronto-bound lanes reopened just after 4 p.m.