Grieving eastern Ontario family calls on drivers to slow down on Hwy. 7

A grieving family is urging drivers to slow down and focus on the road after a family member was killed in a crash just metres from their home in eastern Ontario.

The crash happened just before 3 p.m. on April 17, on Highway 7, near Varty Road, in Tweed, Ont.

Ontario Provincial Police say the 47-year-old driver of an SUV, travelling eastbound, was stopped to turn left on Varty Road when another driver struck the SUV from behind. The impact from that collision pushed the SUV into oncoming traffic and head-on into a westbound pickup truck.

The man driving the SUV was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In an interview with CTV Ottawa, the family identified him as Ron Guest, their husband, father and step-father.

“My dad was really respected by a lot of people,” says Dixie Guest, Ron Guest’s daughter.

The family shared pictures and videos of Ron Guest, laughing with family members.

His wife of 12 years Cheri Guest says that was the type of man he was. 

“He is the sparkle in my eyes and I was the sparkle in his eyes,” Cheri said.

Ron was a father of two children, and extremely close with his two step-children by Cheri. 

She describes her husband as a man who loved trucks and being out on the road, almost as much as he loved his family. 

“To me now, it’s like,  what am I going to do now,” Cheri says. “He was my everything. It was the two of us.”

Step-daughter Chantal Burton says since the accident, the family has been left in shock. 

“He was almost home. He just went out to pay a bill,” she explains. 

Ron Guest stopped to turn left on Highway 7; a turn he’s made hundreds of times for 20 years. On Monday, he was thrown from the vehicle during the accident and died at the scene. 

“It happened pretty much outside of his house,” Burton said.

The monumental loss is not the only tragedy the Guests have faced. Since last July, the couple have been living in a trailer without running water, after a tornado ripped through Tweed and destroyed their home. 

“We just felt the house shift and he grabbed me, put me on the ground and he goes, ‘Baby, this is it. I love you,'” says Cheri.

Cheri says those words now feel like a glimpse into what could be his final moments.

“I can see him saying, ‘Baby, this is it.’ That’s it; that’s my image,” she says. “And that face he had in the tornado was white and scary. And that is what I feel – he was scared.”

A monument with flowers has been set up outside of their home. The family says they are speaking out because more needs to be done to prevent future tragedies on eastern Ontario roads. 

The crash is still under investigation, and Ontario Provincial Police have not released an official cause.

The OPP tells CTV News that since January 2022, 12 people have died in eight other collisions involving cars along Highway 7.

Terry Woolner, Ron Guest’s step-son, says it’s about preventing future tragedies.

“I just don’t want any other family to go through this,” Woolner explains. 

Ron was months away from walking his step-daughter Chantal down the aisle. 

All four children have been left devastated, and have started a GoFundMe for Cheri, who is more determined than ever to stay in the home she shared with Ron.

“I’m not leaving him. He was here. This is where I want to be is with him,” Cheri said.

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