Beaming with happiness, this is the moment that captured Maria Pantazopoulo and her husband, Billy celebrating their nuptials as the excitement of the life they planned to embark on together, could not be contained.
But over two months later, a tragedy, which is akin to a freak of nature, crushed their dreams within hours after Maria was swept away and drowned in the very wedding dress she is pictured in on June 5.
Now in the wake of her untimely death, her family have finally broken their silence over the incident which occurred on Friday near Dorwin Falls in Rawdon, Quebec during a ”trash the dress” photo shoot.
In a statement released by the family, they call for stricter safety measures and claim that Maria had trusted she would be safe.
“One thing we are certain about is that our Maria would have never put her life at risk,” the statement said. ‘Her love for life, for her husband and for her family would never allow it.
“She trusted Mr. Louis Pagakis’ recommendation for the location and felt safe enough to attend the photo shoot alone with the photographers.
“The family asks the municipal council of Rawdon to work on putting in place stronger security measures to avoid any future tragedies.”
Quebec provincial police spokesman Sgt. Ronald McInnis described the site as being elevated and rocky, with water “violently” rushing below.
As previously reported, Maria waded into the river and after her wedding dress became soaked, she screamed: “I can’t anymore, it’s too heavy” .
These turned out to be her last chilling words. She was found hours later by a rescue team.