1962 - 2018 (56 years)
||, Saskatchewan, Canada
|killed in accident |
- Their John Deere 6430 was struck by a semi-trailer at around 9 a.m. on a rural stretch of highway between Saskatoon and Langham, Saskatchewan.
||accident, misfortune, story |
||Bettina Schuurmans |
|Eby ID Number
||9 Jul 2018
||, Saskatchewan, Canada
||20 Aug 2020 |
- Tractor trip ends in tragedy for Elmira couple
Elmira couple wanted to promote family-run, Canadian dairy farms
by Greg Mercer Waterloo Region Record
ELMIRA '97 Henk and Bettina Schuurmans were hoping their cross-country trip by tractor would be an adventure that would help draw attention to Canadian dairy farmers.
On Monday morning, it ended in tragedy.
Their John Deere 6430 was struck by a semi-trailer at around 9 a.m. on a rural stretch of highway between Saskatoon and Langham, Saskatchewan.
Bettina, 55, was killed in the crash. Henk was rushed to hospital in critical condition, and was stabilized by doctors.
The news of the crash has stunned the Schuurmans' friends and family, who had cheered the couple on when they left their Elmira dairy farm more than two weeks ago.
The Schuurmans have five adult children.
The couple have always been proud of their dairy farming roots, friends say, with nine generations of the family making milk dating back to 17th-century Holland.
"It's a massive loss," said Murray Sherk, a Dairy Farmers of Ontario board member who worked with Henk Schuurmans on the Waterloo Dairy Producers committee.
"Dairy farming was their life. That is what they lived for, and they were very passionate about it."
One of the last people to see the couple before the accident was Mark Schwaerzle, who works at Saskview Farm Solutions. They had parked their tractor at his company's shop over the weekend.....
"We are looking forward to seeing the country," Henk Schuurmans said, in an interview on June 22, the day they left Elmira.
Travelling by tractor was a natural choice for the trip, he said. They had hoped to do the eastern leg to Halifax this fall, in time for the wedding of one of their sons.
"We decided biking is not good for our bodies, at our age. The car is kind of boring and motorcycle is not our thing," Henk explained. "So we said, 'We're farmers. Why not by tractor?'"
Mercer, G. (2018). Tractor trip ends in tragedy for Elmira couple. TheRecord.com. Retrieved 10 July 2018, from https://www.therecord.com/news-story/8732494-tractor-trip-ends-in-tragedy-for-elmira-couple/