A newcomer to Canada who was a passionate badminton coach has been identified by friends and family as the man who died in crash Wednesday approximately 21 kilometres northwest of Estevan, Sask.
Sumesh Pulavathil, 38, moved from India to Saskatoon in 2022 for better opportunities, according to his wife Gayathri Ramdas.
Pulvathil and Ramdas, who had been married 14 years, immigrated with their two children, a six-year-old and a 12-year-old.
The family only recently moved to Regina.
Sumesh Pulavathil and Gayathri Ramdas pose for a photo with their two children. (Submitted by Gayathri Ramdas)
On Friday, Ramdas described Pulavathil as a cautious and conscientious driver who always encouraged her to wear a seatbelt.
"Even in India he insists me to do that. Then only he will start the car, even if it is small distance" said Ramdas.
Ramdas said her husband was travelling for work when the crash happened.
She said Pulvathil dedicated hours to helping coach his own son and other children in badminton, a sport that he loved.
Her family is devastated, but has been supported by friends in Regina and Saskatoon.
"When we don't have family here, friends, like family, will always help and that will always matter," Ramdas said.
Sumesh Pulavathil loved the sport of badminton, according to his friends and family. (Submitted by Gayathri Ramdas)
Vishnu Raju, a friend of the family, travelled from Saskatoon to Regina to lend a hand.
Raju described Sumesh as an extremely outgoing person and full of energy, who was passionate about badminton.
"He would always be the guy that I would go and get some advice [from]," Raju said.
In a news release, RCMP said officers responded to report of a serious crash near Macoun, Sask., on Highway 39 just before 3 p.m. CST on Tuesday. Initial investigation determined a truck and a van traveling on Highway 39 collided.
A semi-trailer then blocked the highway completely while avoiding the crash site.
RCMP say the driver of the van — now identified as Pulavathil — was pronounced dead at the scene.
The five occupants of the truck, four adults and one youth, as well as the driver of the semi reported no injuries.
The RCMP investigation into the crash is ongoing.