The father of a boy killed by a school bus on Friday is thanking the community for its outpouring of support.
“People shouldn’t be strangers. Our door is open for people to say their condolences and for any friends that have been keeping their distance out of respect and privacy,” said Jeff Wedman in an interview on Monday.
“We’re quite happy to receive people and have them share in our sadness.”
Wedman’s six-year-old son Thomas, a Grade 2 student at Ă©cole Marie Poburan, died Friday after being struck by a school bus while he was on his way to school.
A private family service will be held on Thursday in Millet.
There will be a public memorial service on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at North Pointe Church at 14025 167th Ave.
“Everybody deserves a chance to say goodbye to him,” Wedman said, adding that the family thanks the community for their overwhelming love, compassion, and understanding.
The family decided to have Thomas’ heart valves donated to help better the lives of two other children. In lieu of flowers they have asked for donations to the Human Organ Procurement and Exchange Program, which has offices in both Edmonton and Calgary. They ask that donors select the “Designation” drop-down box, select “Other,” then type in the word, “HOPE.”
Thomas was crossing the street while on his way to school around 8:40 a.m. Friday morning when he was hit by a school bus making a right hand turn onto Woodlands Road from Sir Winston Churchill Avenue.
The school bus was contracted by St. Albert Public Schools and was heading to Keenooshayo Elementary School.
“Every child is special, but our Thomas was so carefree and radiated pure innocence to whomever he came in contact with,” read a statement provided to the Gazette by the Wedman family.
“He was never troubled by anything and was so quick to laugh, no words can adequately describe the hole his death has left.”
The family has asked community members not to create a memorial at the scene of his death.
Friends and family can share their memories and photos of Thomas by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Porch lights were left on in St. Albert, in homes across Alberta, Canada and even as far as Europe and Dubai on both Friday and Saturday nights in memory of Thomas.