James McIntosh

James McIntosh

Community celebrates life of Penticton boy

Fundraisers online and at LocoLanding to raise money for the family of Penticton boy who was killed after being hit by a vehicle.

In just two days nearly $6,000 has been raised for the family of the five-year-old boy who was killed after being struck by an off-duty RCMP officer on Sept. 15.

Both of James McIntosh’s parents are paramedics and an online fundraiser through GoFundMe was set up by a fellow paramedic Julie Chevrier, who works in Penticton with the boy’s mother.

Chevrier said the GoFundMe account was a collaborative effort by local paramedics.

The $5,000 goal being surpassed in 48 hours gave Chevrier  “goosebumps.”

“The outpouring from the community … I’m speechless. It really is a true testament to the McIntosh family and Jamesy,” Chevrier said.

GoFundMe account had raised $5,885 as of Tuesday afternoon with 98 different donors over two days. Almost $1,000 over the $5,000 goal.

The funds will go directly towards the McIntosh family to be used at their discretion.

“He was just a vibrant young man and wanted everyone to be happy. He always had a smile on his face and he was just a happy-go-lucky kind of kid,” Chevrier said. “I’m so happy that the community is willing to help out.”

A celebration has been planned for James Christian McIntosh on Sept. 27 at LocoLanding Adventure Park as well.

It will be the last day of the summer season for LocoLanding who will open their gates at 11 a.m.

“When something as tragic as the loss of a child happens, I truly believe everyone in Penticton would give whatever they could for this family. We are just fortunate to be able to provide LocoLanding as a venue for fundraising,” Diana Stirling, owner of LocoLanding, said in a release.

“Our staff (all teenagers) are also donating their time, which absolutely warms my heart.”

Since the boy’s death several teddy bears and red roses were left at the intersection with notes of condolence to the family. On Sunday, hundreds gathered at his funeral including uniformed emergency services workers.

The Principal of Holy Cross School, where McIntosh was a student in Grade 1 said the boy is remembered as always being happy and full of joy.

“We have had an outpouring of support from the community and questions on how people can help the family during this time,” said Campbell. “I can’t think of a better way of helping them and honouring James at the same time.”

The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/hh4jhtkg.

McIntosh was struck crossing the road on Sept. 15 around 5 p.m. at the intersection of Fairview Road (Green Mountain Road) and Highway 97 on the Channel Parkway. No charges have been laid on the driver who hit McIntosh.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is still gathering information on the incident.

Marten Youssef, manager of strategic communications with the IIO, said an investigation can take from six months to a year.

“A lot of that also riding on third-party reports,” Youssef said.

 

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