Paramedic Jayme Erickson mourns daughter who died in accident

An Alberta paramedic who responded to a horrific accident in which she treated a seriously injured teenager without knowing it was her own daughter mourns the loss of her child.

Jayme Erickson spoke about the loss of her daughter Montana, who was critically injured in a crash on November 15 outside of Airdrie, Alta.

Family friend Richie Reed, himself a flight paramedic, says Montana and a friend returned from a dog walk in Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. RCMP confirm Montana was a passenger when the driver lost control of the vehicle on an icy road and they were struck by an oncoming truck.

Erickson arrived on site and tended to the teenager, who was then flown to Foothills Medical Center. After her shift, RCMP visited Erickson’s home to inform her that Montana was indeed the victim of the crash. The teenager died in hospital.

“She meant the world to all of us,” Erickson said. “This tragedy is being felt not just here in this community, but across the province and perhaps across the country.

“I think any first responder can relate to the pain we’re feeling. Nobody wants to go through something like that and I just want the memory of my little girl to live on and I want everyone to know how much she meant to us and how much she means to all my colleagues.”

Undated picture of Montana, the teenager who died after a crash near Airdrie, Alta. on November 15th. Her mother, Jayme Erickson, was the paramedic who was present at the scene of the accident. (supplied by the Erickson family)

Erickson says Montana was a firecracker who loved her friends dearly and fought for what she believed in until her last day.

“She was so beautiful. Whenever she made an effort, she was always successful. A very successful swimmer throughout her years. Aspirations to become a lawyer after high school. She was a very funny girl and we all loved her very much.”

Erickson says Montana was able to donate a final gift of her organs, two of which were life-saving.

“We are so happy to know that our little girl is living on through others and she has saved others after this tragedy. We know she would have wanted it and we’re so proud of her.”

Friends set up a GoFundMe account to help Erickson and her husband Sean cover Montana funeral expenses and give the family time to try to put their “absolutely devastated” life back together.

“This is a loss of a daughter, but also (Jaymes) loss of identity as a mother and probably also as a paramedic,” Reed said. “And now, without question, she will always have us (first responders) as family. So we will always be there for her, but we’d appreciate some help trying to help her so she can focus on that.”

As of early Tuesday afternoon, more than $47,000 had been raised for the Erickson family.