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Family in Labour Day weekend car crash near Whistler receives donated car

10-year-old West Vancouver resident raised more than $18,000
Bear Yeung (right) presents a Lower Mainland family with a 2017 Volkswagen Golf after raising more than $18,000 to replace the family's vehicle that was involved in a Sept. 5 crash near Whistler. Photo submitted

It’s been a challenging few weeks for a Lower Mainland family involved in a Labour Day weekend crash near Whistler, but a 10-year-old West Vancouver boy has helped make things a lot better.

Bear Yeung, who is part of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club’s U12 program, raised more than $18,000 to cover the cost of a 2017 Volkswagen Golf for the family, which wishes to remain anonymous to protect their privacy. The family was driving southbound in a Toyota Corolla in the Sept. 5 collision when a Lamborghini taking part in the Hublot Diamond fundraising rally jumped the median and hit their car. (RCMP continue to investigate the accident, which also involved a black Range Rover not associated with the car rally.)

TJ Maruyama was driving the Corolla, which belonged to a friend who was also in the car with two children—they were returning from a two-day camping trip. Maruyama said the family, which has asked to remain anonymous, received the car on Oct. 9, and is appreciative. The Yeung family connected with the family through the RCMP.

“It didn’t sound right at first,” said Maruyama. “I’d never heard any stories that a complete stranger would reach out and try to help financially and by getting a new vehicle for [the family]."


Maruyama said the family was impacted not only by the crash and resulting physical and emotional trauma, but struggled from a practical perspective without the insurance to have a loaner vehicle to use in place of the Corolla, which was seized as evidence.

Yeung said that when he heard about the collision, and that two children, aged 10 and five, were hospitalized because of it, he felt he needed to take action.

“I don’t want anyone to deal with the same thing as what those kids and parents had to deal with,” he said. “I felt really proud and excited to give the car to them.”

Yeung’s father, Kevin, said that since they regularly drive the Sea to Sky Highway as well, the news hit home.

“One of the kids is the same age as Bear, so it really resonated with both of our families that we’ve connected in this awful way,” said the dad.

Yeung’s fundraiser received support on GoFundMe from more than 40 people from across B.C., raising more than $10,000, while the Porsche Club of America: Canada West Region, of which Kevin is a member, saw nearly 30 members pony up donations to help cover the cost not only of the vehicle, but other associated costs.

“We felt really special and thankful for the family and of course, for Bear,” said Maruyama. “It started from his idea to start the campaign. He successfully collected more than enough money to pay for our vehicle and for taxes, insurance, warranty.

“We’re grateful to the donors and supporters and most importantly, the Yeung family.”

Maruyama was also relieved that all involved walked away from the crash, as six people in total were hospitalized.

“They could have had much more severe injuries, or one of us could have died, and even though I’m at no fault, that would have been big emotional stress on myself,” he said. “I’m really glad that everyone’s recovered and safe and no one’s feeling any major aftereffects of the accident.”

As RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the accident Bear felt it important to remind drivers, especially as winter approaches, to remain vigilant on the roads.

“We need stronger people like you adults to protect us,” he said. “I want dangerous drivers to slow down and protect us.”