Holly Indridson, 38, has joined a club nobody wants to belong to.
She’s yet another parent who’s lost a beloved child to mindless violence in Surrey.
“I’ve been through so many losses and this one, it’s crushed my will to live but I have to live, you know,” she says, less than three days after her 17-year-old son, Ethan Bespflug, died in hospital after being fatally stabbed April 11 while riding a bus in the 9900-block of King George Boulevard.
Before Tuesday night, when he texted that he was scared and threatened by other passengers, Ethan had never complained about riding bus or SkyTrain.
“Him and his friend would take the bus and SkyTrain, they’d take it downtown, they’d go to Brentwood Mall, they’d go to Metrotown, they utilized it so they could explore their surroundings and their world you know, as teenagers would. I don’t think at any time he felt unsafe and for this to happen on the bus…,” Indridson, an Abbotsford resident, trails off.
Authorities from Premier David Eby on down have expressed outrage at her son’s homicide and have promised enhanced police patrols on public transit in its wake.
“I’m hoping that they can put more security,” Indridson says of this. “When I was younger, there was a security guard or a transit police on the bus itself, when I was like 17.
“I thought there would be a lot more,” she says.
TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn vented about the crime during an unrelated presser in Surrey on Friday,
“I’m angry, we’re really angry, I’m very frustrated, I’m bothered by these events and as a parent of two transit-riding kids, every single day, I am concerned,” he said. “We will not allow criminals or those who want to commit crimes to come onto our system.”
TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn goes "off script" about violence on public transit during presser in Surrey on Friday. pic.twitter.com/6gHxQUwi1y— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) April 14, 2023
“I’ll say as a father, I will say I was particularly shocked regarding the fatal stabbing of a teenager aboard one of our buses and our sincere condolences are with that young man’s family,” Quinn said.
“Our Transit Police have already stepped up patrols in crime hot spots and the forthcoming 24 community safety officers will allow police to further focus their efforts on criminal activity. We’re always looking for new ways to improve safety on transit and I want to emphasize that if anyone feels unsafe on our system they should immediately text Transit Police at any time at 87-7777.”
More from TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn on recent violence on public transit. pic.twitter.com/JdUVBXAxTx— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) April 14, 2023
Indridson says two GoFundMe campaigns will help her surviving children and help put Ethan to rest. By Friday afternoon, one set up by her sister-in-law Andrea Van Der Gracht had already raised $19,485 dollars and one by another aunt, Daphni Miller, had by Friday afternoon raised $16,931.
“The outpouring of support and just people that are messaging me that are just, I don’t know them, but other mothers that are messaging me, the family, the friends, people I haven’t talked to since high school, it’s just amazing how communities come together but I just wish it wasn’t under these circumstances,” Indridson says. “I can feel it and I know Ethan is smiling down because that it’s what he would want in this type of situation, for his family not to feel alone and feel love and support.”
Her younger children “are devastated.
“My kids were all very close, they got along well, there’s very large age gaps between some of them. They connected in such a way that to me it was magical watching them together and Ethan was the largest piece of the puzzle.”
Homicide detectives are in contact with her.
At this time of writing a suspect had not been identified.
“They’re trying to not overwhelm me,” she says of police. “I’ve asked everyone to not tell me anything because I cannot handle it, you know. So they came over and they told me it’s going well. That’s all, for me, that I can take at this time because I don’t want it to be real. I’m in shock.”