BY MICHAEL LEE
Liverpool has been hit hard by the loss of a beloved citizen, mother and wife.
Nicole Foster-Thomas, 29, died in a three-vehicle accident on Highway 103 at Exit 18 on December 3.
She was driving to Bridgewater with her husband Charles Thomas, 40, to do Christmas shopping for their two sons when their car collided with a tractor trailer.
Nicole died as a result of her injuries and Charles was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
RCMP Staff-Sgt. Paul MacDougall said three vehicles were involved in the accident — a small car, a pickup truck and a tractor trailer.
The tractor trailer went off the road, flipped over and caught fire. The driver suffered minor injuries.
The driver of the pickup truck was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Krista Lee Barton, a long-time family friend of Nicole's, chose to start a Facebook page "Help Support The Thomas Family" and a gofundme account called "The Thomas Fund" which raised $3,800 in one day – well above the $2,000 target Barton initially set.
She has since increased the target to $6,000 and again to $8,000 over the weekend after more than $6,500 was raised as of Sunday.
Barton said the family are in shock, especially considering Nicole was the mother of two boys, but she chose to do what she could to help.
"The community has jumped together pretty fast," she said.
Diane Warner, a staff member at the Native Council of Nova Scotia in Liverpool, said Nicole was involved in a number of programs there.
Warner knew Nicole personally and described her as a happy, outgoing person who strived to make other people happy.
"It's hard to come to terms with that it was her," she said, calling the accident "unbelievable."
Nicole worked at the Liverpool McDonalds and her manager, Rob Ramey, said she was close with many people at work, many of whom were still getting over the accident.
"She was a really amazing person," he said.
The McDonalds is collecting cash donations for the family and have set up a memorial in the restaurant with pictures on display of Nicole and Charles.
Gifts and donations for the two children will be collected as Christmas approaches.
Specifically Barton is looking for size four diapers for the youngest boy, as well as PC milk with iron, snacks, toys and clothes.
Donations can be dropped off at 139 Common St. in Liverpool to Nicole's sister Cheyeanna.
The Liverpool Privateers will also be donating their profits from Saturday's game to the family. Treasures Day Spa in Liverpool is also collecting donations.