FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - Members of an Alberta church will be able grieve together today over the death of one of their pastors and two members of his family.
It'll be the first gathering of the Fort McMurray congregation since Shannon Wheaton died in a horrific highway accident on Friday.
Rev. Edwin Rideout of Family Christian Centre says Wheaton, his wife Trena, and their youngest son, Benjamin were among the seven people killed when two pickup trucks collided head-on.
He says Wheaton's oldest son, Timothy, 3, survived with only minor injuries.
Rideout says Wheaton joined his staff in 2010, but they previously worked together for five years with a congregation in Springdale, NL.
He says Wheaton was one of the most gentle and generous people he ever knew, and that the church will be providing grief counselling until Wednesday.
There's been no word on the identities of the other crash victims.
The terrible wreck happened on a two-lane stretch of Highway 63 near Wandering River.
There have been several deadly crashes on the busy road linking Fort McMurray and Edmonton. And Friday's tragedy has led to renewed calls for the province to fulfil its promise to twin the remaining two-lane sections of the highway.