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Firefighter killed in car crash

Jason Unrau
Northern News Services

Inuvik (July 22/05) - More than 100 people turned out at the river, Saturday, to remember 22-year-old Matt Wojdak, who died Friday in an automobile accident outside Smithers, B.C., during a vacation home to visit friends and family.

Matt Wojdak: died in car accident in B.C.

Since moving to Inuvik three years ago, Wojdak endeared himself to many in the community.

"He was full of life and ambition," said Amier Suliman, who came to know Wojdak after the young man began working for Suliman's security company two-and-a-half years ago. "He had a goal in life and did something about it."

That goal was to become an Emergency Medical Technician. A year and one day prior to his death, Wojdak joined Inuvik's volunteer fire department and had since started working part-time as an Emergency Medical Responder for the ambulance service in town.

"He was a fun loving, community loving guy," said volunteer firefighter Patricia Davison, addressing the gathering at the river Saturday afternoon. "He was always thinking of the positive and we can remember all the good times he brought to the community."

Wojdak originally came to Inuvik to join some friends who had also moved here from Smithers, some of whom also worked at the Newstand with him.

On Friday, Newstand proprietor Pete Carrington - himself a native of Smithers - closed the convenience store in memory of his friend. Carrington was unavailable for comment as he and others travelled home to attend Wojdak's funeral.

Sinking in

"It's still sinking in," said Newstand employee and friend Steve Robertson at Saturday's river gathering.

"I was also pretty close to Marshall (Sayers who perished in a snowmobile accident in May) and now this happens so it's pretty hard to take."

Inuvik Fire Chief Al German and four volunteer firefighters also attended Wojdak's funeral, Wednesday in Smithers.

A memorial will be held at 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 23, at Jim Koe Park, weather permitting. The alternate venue is Sir Alexander Mackenzie school.