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Community rallies around family injured in Christmas Eve crash in Cape Breton

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Rikki Boneschansker, along with her husband Daniel and their four children ages three through nine, were in Cape Breton visiting from Halifax for the holidays.

The family was on the way to a Christmas Eve candlelight service in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., when their van collided with a Volkswagen Golf coming the other way on Highway 104.

"When I saw my daughter at the scene, she said she was driving and then she woke up,” said Cynthia Fougere, Rikki Boneschansker’s mother.

Fougere says her daughter has a long road to recovery.

"She's in surgery right now,” Fougere told CTV News on Friday afternoon.

“Probably a five-hour-plus surgery. They're doing an arm, a leg and her pelvis was shattered."

Fougere’s grandchildren were also injured in the crash.

"Jonathan has a broken arm right up by the shoulder,” she said.

“They can't cast it, but a sling and gravity they say will do it. Benjamin's wrist was shattered. He had to have it re-cast and set yesterday."

Family member Gracie MacDonald started an online fundraiser. Daniel Boneschansker’s sister, Ashley Boneschansker-LeBlanc also created a separate GoFundMe. Both fundraisers aim to help with the family’s expenses in the months ahead.

"It's truly amazing how the community can come together to support this family in need,” said MacDonald.

"It's overwhelming. I've been shedding a lot of tears over that,” added Fougere.

The RCMP says the driver of the other vehicle, a 28-year-old New Brunswick man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries and a dog was found dead in the car.

The Boneschansker and Fougere families say they’re grateful for the help they have received – and that they all survived.

"Because she could have been a lot worse,” said Fougere. “We're very thankful."

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

Correction

This is a corrected story. A previous version stated that Gracie MacDonald created a GoFundMe. In fact, Gracie MacDonald started an online fundraiser and Ashley Boneschansker-LeBlanc also created a separate GoFundMe. Both fundraisers aim to help with the family's expenses.

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