A growing memorial at the Diakonissenhaus stop where Henri Gagnon, 3, died on Easter Sunday. Photo: Wendy Biddlecombe Agsar

Leipzigers support family of boy who died in tram accident


Just days after the tragic tram accident that killed a 3-year-old boy in Lindenau, donations from Leipzigers and far beyond are helping an American-Canadian family cover funeral and repatriation costs to bring their son back to the United States.

Henri Gagnon, 3, was getting off the tram at the Diakonissenhaus stop around noon on Easter Sunday when he reportedly tripped and was pulled under the departing tram. He died from his injuries at the scene, according to a Leipzig police report.

A GoFundMe campaign was started by Emily Smith, a family friend, “to take away some of the financial burden.”

The campaign had raised nearly $80,000 (US) by Wednesday evening, with condolences and comments left in both English and German.

The family has lived in Leipzig for just a few months, according to a social media post, as Henri’s father had recently completed his PhD and taken a job with the Max Planck Institute. The LVZ reported that the family sold all of their possessions in the US to start a new life in Leipzig. Henri’s mother, Kacie, began working as an assistant theatre director, and Henri’s older brother attended the Leipzig International School.

Screenshot of the Gagnon family’s fundraising page on GoFundMe

There has been a growing memorial at the Diakonissenhaus tram stop, with flowers, candles, notes, toys, candies, and other items left by Leipzigers in remembrance.

Polizei Sachsen identified the tram driver as a 57-year-old German man, and said they are investigating for negligent homicide. The Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that the tram driver suffered from shock and was treated by first responders, who were also on scene to help the family. The LVZ also reported Wednesday that Henri’s mother would like to write the tram driver to let him know that the accident was not his fault.

In addition to first responders, employees of the LuiLui Eisladen cared for the family as the tragedy unfolded.

Kacie Gagnon also responded personally to several social media posts, writing in part:

This is my son. We had no idea that the public knew or cared. We had no idea that it was in the paper. We thought our well of unimaginable grief was ours alone. Thank you for caring. Thank you for wanting to know how to help. Thank you for feeling compassion for my little Henny . . .VIELEN DANK from the depths of our soul xoxoxo

You can donate to the grieving family and express your condolences on the GoFundMe page dedicated to Henri.

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