Friday, March 14, 2008

Quebec town huddles in grief

MORIN-HEIGHTS, QUE. — The night before she died, Marlyn Ofiaza promised a friend she would stop by the following day to sign her teenage twins up for community soccer in Morin-Heights.

“She always came by at lunchtime,” said the friend, Geneviève Ranger. “I waited for her.”

Lunch came and went, but Ms. Ofiaza never showed up. Instead, shortly after 12:40 p.m., the devoted mother and main breadwinner for two 17-year-old boys perished, crushed with two co-workers beneath a snow-laden warehouse roof.

Yesterday, the tight-knit Laurentians community closed ranks and tried to absorb the shock of losing three well-liked and hard-working women. In the local IGA, at the small town hall, at a makeshift shrine where the women worked and died, townspeople were seen hugging and quietly crying.

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