Canadian Couple Killed In Exuma
Two Canadians died after a driver slammed into them as they walked along Queens Highway in Exuma on Thursday night, police said.
Although police have not released the identities of the couple, the Canadian press identified them as Ron and Jill Gandza.
Police said the visitors were hit by a gray 2000 Nissan Sunny around 10 p.m. Police said the 57-year-old man died at the scene and his 55-year-old wife died at the local clinic. The driver reportedly received minor injuries and was assisting police with their investigations. A team of traffic officers from New Providence went to Exuma to help police there.
Friends and colleagues posted condolences on Facebook.
The Gandzas worked with the Canadian Royal Potcake Rescue group, an organization that rescues stray dogs and finds homes for them.
Shelia McDonell, a long-time friend of Mrs. Gandza’s, said they were due to return home in St. Catharine’s, Ontario yesterday.
She said the Gandzas, who left behind a 19-year-old son, bought a second home in Exuma last year and frequently traveled to the island.
McDonell said Mrs. Gandza, married for 23 years, became involved in potcake rescues after adopting a stray dog in Exuma five years ago.
Natalia Nunez, a local animal rescuer, said Mrs. Gandza worked on several local spay and neuter programs in The Bahamas, including Operation Potcake in January.
“She is one of the kindest people I have ever interacted with, always eager to help people and animals,” Nunez told The Nassau Guardian.
“She loved our Bahamian potcakes and over the years must have re-homed nearly a hundred of them back in Canada. She was also always happy, had a great spirit.”
Earlier this week, Minister of State for Transport Hope Strachan spoke of her ministry’s concern with the number of traffic-related deaths the country has recorded this year.
She said her ministry will ramp up its current road safety campaign to warn drivers of the dangers of texting and driving and drunk driving.
By Taneka Thompson
The Nassau Guardian
Published: April 27, 2013