Three boys aged 11 and 13 have died after being hit by a vehicle in Nelson House. (CBC) Three boys have died after they were hit by a car while riding their bicycles and walking on a main road near Nelson House on Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation.
Chief Marcel Moody and council member Bonnie Linklater both confirmed the trio were riding their bikes and walking with a group of friends on PR 620, the main access road to the community, at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when they were hit by a man driving a car.
"The community is in a state of shock here," said Moody. "Everybody’s grieving, trying to figure out what’s happened in the community."
Two of the boys were 11 and the other was 13, RCMP said Sunday afternoon.
They say the driver, 27, was travelling southbound on the road with four passengers when his vehicle struck the children.
Police said two of the children were walking and one was riding a bicycle.
They died at the scene about 600 metres outside of town, said Moody. The community is about 660 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
RCMP say the driver fled from the scene after the crash, then turned himself in to the Nelson House RCMP detachment at about midnight. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, said police.
Two of the boys were good friends with his grandson, said Moody, so he "knew them really, really well."
The families of the three boys were able to meet at the community hall along with the chief, community and spiritual leaders, said Moody, and have a prayer in the early hours of the morning.
Deputy NCN Chief Ron Spence said Sunday afternoon the entire community is coming together to help the families.
"We have all the supports in the community from the community wellness centre and we’re doing a vigil," said Spence.
The vigil will be held Monday, said Linklater. Details will be announced to the community, she added.
"We are going to be meeting with council and the families tomorrow … the community’s very strong and they usually come together at times like this, right through to the wakes and funerals."
Indigenous leaders began sending out their condolences Sunday afternoon.
"Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs send condolences to Chief Marcel Moody and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation," the AMC tweeted.
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