Sunday, September 19, 2010
RIP Andrew "Little" Wolf - Your team-mates miss you incredibly
Dear members of the Otesha family,
It is with deep sorrow that we report the death of one of our tour members, Andrew Wolf. Andrew was a member of The Otesha Project’s Highlands and Islands Tour. While cycling with the team in New Brunswick, he was struck by a transport truck and killed on Thursday, September 16th at 2:30 pm Atlantic time.
On behalf of the entire Otesha community, our thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew’s family, friends and members of the Highlands and Islands Tour. We all are shocked and deeply saddened. Andrew was a passionate and well-loved member of the Otesha community, and had been with the team since the start of the tour on September 7, 2010.
The team was travelling by bicycle across the Maritimes delivering environmental education programs that empower young people to make positive change in the world around them.
The accident took place yesterday afternoon on Highway 7 near Petersville Hill, New Brunswick, approximately 10 kilometers north of Welsford. The cyclists were travelling southbound when they were struck by a transport truck. Andrew was killed, and two other tour members were admitted to hospital; one was treated for a leg injury and the other with more minor injuries.
The RCMP have been in touch with the families of the team members affected. Otesha is also in ongoing communication with the families. During this difficult time, our greatest concern is ensuring the families and all participants are supported.
Kelly Bowden, a programs director with the Otesha Project who has been with the team since the tour started, is currently leading the response and working to meet the teams needs. Two other staff members have been sent to support her and the rest of the team. Grief counsellors, the Red Cross, and an outpouring of support from the local community are all helping the team cope with this tragedy. We are grateful for their immense kindness and support.
The team has decided to suspend the tour for the time being and will decide in the coming days whether to continue the tour. The Highlands Islands Tour is the final of three Otesha cycling and performing tours scheduled for the 2010 season.
We are all shaken by this terrible news, and this will be a difficult time for everyone in our extended Otesha family. We take solace in the strength of the community, which we will count on to support each other as we respond to this tragedy.
We would like to express our deep gratitude for the kind letters and offers of support coming from among the more than 350 alumni of the program and from the wider community. A group of supporters have set up a Facebook group - ‘In Otesha Solidarity’ - as a show of support to the team. Many others have been wearing their Otesha t-shirts and plan to do so at the upcoming critical mass bike ride taking place Friday September 24th in many cities across the world to honor Andrew.
For those who would like to share their condolences with Andrew’s family, the best way to contact Otesha is via email at email@example.com. We will ensure the family receives all your messages of support. However, in the interest of directing our resources to best respond to these events, we ask that you refrain from calling, and have patience in hearing back from us. Live updates will be posted to our Twitter feed and Facebook page as we receive them.
At the request of the Wolf family, a fund has been established in Andrew's name that is to be used to help others to participate in Otesha cycling and performing tours. Those wishing to contribute to this fund can do so at the following giving page.
At this time we join with so many others to offer our thoughts and prayers to the Wolf family.
Jessica Lax and Jocelyn Land-Murphy
On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors of the Otesha Project
Updated September 18, 2010