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Mother of 2 and 4 exchange students identified as victims killed in crash in Huntsville, Ont.


The woman killed in a head-on collision in Huntsville over the weekend that also claimed the lives of four teenagers has been identified.

Officials with Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare confirmed Jessica Ward, 42, was the lone driver of an SUV that collided with another SUV carrying four Chinese exchange students between the ages of 15 and 17 on Highway 60 Saturday night.

The local woman and three of the teens died at the scene, while a male student was taken to the hospital where police say he died of his injuries.

CTV News contacted the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Toronto, which confirmed the deaths of the four students and said no further information would be shared "since the case is under investigation and for privacy reasons."

Police have said the youths were between 15 and 17 years old.

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare's Facebook page posted a tribute to Ward, an accounting clerk at the Huntsville hospital, describing her as having a kind heart and infectious laugh.

"She would light up with stories about her children and their dog. Jessica always brought a smile to the room with her quick wit and dry sense of humour," reads the post.

A GoFundMe campaign launched by a family member to support her children's futures has far exceeded its $10,000 goal.

Provincial police investigating the cause of the deadly crash near Hidden Valley Road say there are sharp turns that make it difficult for viewpoints at night but say weather was not a factor.

"The conditions that night - the roads weren't slick, there's no snow-cover, and the weather was clear," noted OPP Const. Dana Morris.

Huntsville Mayor Nancy Alcock and local OPP officers said this is one of the most significant losses of life they've ever seen at one time.

"You don't feel totally prepared or equipped. At least I don't. This is one of those things, you wish you can just get out there and hug the people that are affected but there are so many," Alcock added.

The cause of the fatal collision remains under investigation. Top Stories

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