A funeral is underway for one of the two young children killed when a bus crashed into a daycare last week in Laval, Que., just north of Montreal.
The bells of the Ste-Rose-de-Lima church tolled at 11 a.m. as five men carried the small white casket of Jacob Gauthier into the sanctuary.
A funeral notice published last week said Jacob was four and a half and is survived by his mother, father, sister, as well as grandparents and other extended family.
Media were asked to keep their distance as family and friends made their way into the church, past tributes of stuffed animals and flowers that were placed outside the door.
Four silver cars from the funeral home pulled up shortly before the service started, and men could be seen unloading large displays of white flowers.
Samir Alahmad, the president of the province’s private daycare association, said it is hard to describe the magnitude of the parent’s pain.
“Every parent in Quebec, every citizen in Quebec, should feel the pain those people are suffering now,” he said outside the church. “There’s no words to describe what the family is suffering today.”
More than a week after the tragedy, “we still don’t have an answer for how this happened,” he said.
The alleged bus attack at the Garderie Éducative Ste-Rose on Feb. 8 left two children dead and sent six to hospital with injuries.
Pierre Ny St-Amand, a 51-year-old driver with the Laval transit corporation, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of first-degree murder and seven other offences, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.
Funeral details for the second child, who was identified by her parents as Maëva David, have not been announced.