Survivor of Highway 401 wrong-way crash speaks out for first time

 (CBC - image credit)
(CBC - image credit)

A survivor of a fatal wrong-way crash on the Highway 401 last week is speaking out for the first time, saying his family is "reeling" from the collision that claimed the lives of both of his parents and his son.

Gokulnath Manivannan and his wife Ashwitha Jawahar were the sole survivors of the Monday crash, according to a statement provided to CBC News from Ontario's Special Investigations Unit on Sunday. In it, he detailed part of what has transpired since, including the loss of his three-month-old son Aditya Vivaan, his father Manivannan Srinivasapillai and his mother Mahalakshmi Ananthakrishnan.

"We are at a complete loss of words to describe the agony and vacuum in our hearts knowing we can never hold our child Aditya Vivaan, who gave us so many precious memories in such a short time, in our hands again," wrote Manivannan.

His parents arrived from Chennai, India two days before the crash, he said.

"My father, who had recently retired at the age of 60, was overjoyed with the opportunity to spend time with his grandson. He affectionately referred to this time as the 'year of grandparents fun,'" he wrote. "My mother, aged 55, was eagerly anticipating every moment with her son and grandson, planning to make their stay all about her grandchild."

The family is asking for space to "heal in private.

"The aftermath has left an indelible mark on our lives, with profound grief. While we begin the arduous journey of planning farewells for our loved ones, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to the community who hold our family in their thoughts," wrote Manivannan.

More to come.