Crash claims well-known farmer

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Anthony van Oostrum dies at scene, woman taken to hospital

By Sara Keddy

Transcontinental Media

One man was killed and a woman rushed to hospital after a collision in Grafton July 15.

Two vehicles collided just after 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Highway 221 and Black Rock Road.

Paul Maynard, spokesman for Emergency Health Services, said a man died and a woman in her fifties was taken to the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville in fair condition.

Anthony van Oostrum, 70, of Woodville, died at the scene. The long-time Grafton farmer was well-known in the community and beyond, having been a former director and president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, a former director of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association and involved with the Cattlemen’s Association.

He was a past director and president of the Annapolis Valley Exhibition; a current director of Agri-Futures, chairman of the Nova Scotia 4-H Market Steer and Lamb Committee and member of the Apple Farmers’ Association of Nova Scotia. Van Oostrum immigrated from The Netherlands in 1968. His son, Andrew, now runs the farm.

Happened close to home

Waterville firefighters responded to the crash, which happened several hundred feet from the farm van Oostrum operated for decades. Department spokesman Kevin Ernest said crews used the Jaws of Life and air bags during the extrication, calling in Berwick firefighters to assist and Kentville firefighters to establish a nearby landing area for the provincial air ambulance helicopter.

RCMP, the Department of Transportation and EHS were all also there providing scene management. It was after 3:30 p.m. before crews cleared the road, following the traffic analyst’s inspection.

Waterville firefighters hosted an incident debriefing July 16 and planned a follow-up critical incident stress debriefing for those who responded to the call. “Part of the process,” Ernest said.

This intersection has been the site of a number of smaller collisions in recent years, although Ernest says it has been some time since there has been a fatality. It is marked with a yellow flashing overhead light visible in all directions, with stop signs on the Black Rock Road approaches.

Organizations: Emergency Health Services, Valley Regional Hospital, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Annapolis Valley Exhibition Nova Scotia 4-H Market Steer and Lamb Committee Association of Nova Scotia RCMP Department of Transportation and EHS

Geographic location: Black Rock Road, Kentville, Woodville Cattlemen Berwick

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