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Friend remembers Abbotsford, B.C., man killed in snowplow collision as devoted, loving father

Anthony Hetzel, 31, was killed when he was struck by a private snowplow in Abbotsford on Thursday. He is being remembered as a loving father. (Meagan McManus/GoFundMe - image credit)
Anthony Hetzel, 31, was killed when he was struck by a private snowplow in Abbotsford on Thursday. He is being remembered as a loving father. (Meagan McManus/GoFundMe - image credit)

The Abbotsford, B.C., man killed in a snowplow collision earlier this week is being remembered as a loving father who brought out the best in everyone he met.

Anthony Hetzel, 31, was struck by a private snowplow Thursday along a road parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway amid a heavy snowstorm.

Police say his car had veered off the highway into a ditch, and he appeared to be headed toward a gas station to seek help, when he was struck by a pickup truck equipped with snow-plowing equipment.

High school friend Meagan McManus says she wants Hetzel to be remembered for the impact he left on everyone in his life.

"We're just really hoping that we can get out how amazing of a human being Anthony was and how much he meant to all of his friends and family," she told CBC News. "He really wanted to know how you are and [was] just a really kind, gentle soul."

Hetzel is survived by his wife and young son. McManus and her husband are godparents to Hetzel's son.

McManus started a fundraising campaign to support his family, which has raised over $53,000 as of Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. PT.

"Anthony is the sole provider for that family. He's their whole foundation," McManus said. "He takes care of his wife and son so, so well, and now he's no longer here.

"We feel an obligation to make sure that family is going to be OK and that we can provide for them now."

Lifelong Canucks fan

McManus says that Hetzel was a huge fan of the Vancouver Canucks, and he and his son would wear jerseys and religiously watch all of the NHL team's games.

In addition to his love for the Canucks, McManus says Hetzel also used to regularly play a tabletop role-playing game, Pathfinder, with a group of friends.

She says she last saw Hetzel and his family on Tuesday, two days before his untimely death. McManus says she'll fondly remember their last meeting, which saw their young children play together.

McManus says that Hetzel was a devoted Canucks fan who would even watch the NHL team's games when his son was sleeping.
McManus says that Hetzel was a devoted Canucks fan who would even watch the NHL team's games when his son was sleeping.

McManus says that Hetzel was a devoted Canucks fan. (Meagan McManus/GoFundMe)

Abbotsford Police Const. Scott McClure told CBC News that Hetzel's death came during difficult weather conditions when visibility was poor and pedestrians had to use roads due to snow piling up on sidewalks.

According to police, the driver of the snowplow remained at the scene and is co-operating with the investigation. Police say the vehicle was privately owned and not contracted by the city.

McManus says that friends and family are planning a small memorial for Hetzel in the near future.

"We're really overwhelmed with the amount of support," she said. "Anybody who ever met him, like he's never burned a bridge. That guy was just a fantastic human."