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Celine Dion suffers another family tragedy after sudden death of niece

Brigitte Dion was killed in a car accident

celine dion niece dead
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
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Celine Dion has had a lifetime of dealing with personal loss – and now she is suffering from another family tragedy following the death of her niece, Brigitte Dion. 

The 51-year-old, who was the daughter of Celine's older brother Clément Dion, died suddenly on December 29, 2023, after she was involved in a car accident in the town of Saint-Thomas, in the Lanaudière region of Quebec, Canada. 

According to the Journal de Montréal, Brigitte was killed in a head-on collision around 6:15 p.m. after a car left its lane for unknown reasons and ended up in the wrong direction. 

Celine Dion in blue sparkly dress performing live at Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park© Getty
Celine Dion's niece Brigitte Dion died in December 2023

This caused a crash between Brigitte and the unknown drivers' vehicles. Both were then hit by a third car, according to Sûreté du Québec

The tragedy reportedly occurred when Brigitte was driving to a store near her home, but after realizing she forgot her wallet, she had to turn around and drive back. 

While Celine has yet to comment on the death of her niece, Brigitte's daughter, Kim Cantin Dion, shared a heartbreaking post on Facebook alongside photos of her and her mom.

She wrote in part: "I can't believe what I'm doing... the words... the pictures... I'm confused mom. Look how beautiful my mommy is. Cause you were my mom all to me. Just mine." 

Kim added: "My mom was a little tired, but that wasn't the reason she left. My mom wants us to remember the beautiful dynamite bomb she was. 

"Remember the bridge that makes sparks. Talk about my mom often. Make her live again, my mom. You're still there mom. But otherwise. I love you mom."

In recent years, Celine has been forced to say goodbye to her husband, Rene Angelil, and her brother, Daniel Dion, who both died of cancer just two days apart in January 2016. 

Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil died in January 2016© Sam Levi
Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil died in January 2016

Just eight months later, in August 2016, Celine's brother-in-law, Guy Poirier died after cancer spread to his "lung, brain, and bones". In 2003, her father, Adhémar Dion, lost his battle with cancer and died aged 80.

In 1993, Celine's 16-year-old niece, Karine, died in her arms due to complications related to cystic fibrosis. 

"I had her in my arms," Celine recalled to People of Karine's final moments. "I started to sing softly in her ear, and out of nowhere her eyes closed. 

Celine's brother Daniel who sadly passed away© Getty
Celine's brother Daniel passed away two days after her husband

"I looked at my mom, who was massaging her feet because her circulation didn’t work, and nodded, 'OK, it’s happening.'"

She added: "One tear came down Karine’s cheek, and then she went." 

celine dion and niece karine© Twitter
Celine's niece Karine died aged 16

Celine's latest loss comes at a difficult time for her as she continues to battle stiff person syndrome, a rare neurological disorder she was diagnosed with in 2022 after stepping out of the spotlight in October 2021. 

What is stiff person syndrome?

Stiff person syndrome is a rare neurological disorder.

Symptoms of stiff person syndrome include muscle rigidity in the trunk and arms, often triggered by noise, touch and emotional distress. Celine's condition is characterised by muscle spasms.

People with stiff person syndrome suffer from frequent falls, because they lack defensive reflexes to save themselves. Sufferers are often unable to walk or move, and it's twice as common in women than in men.

It's not known what causes the disorder, and it's often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, psychosomatic illness, or anxiety and phobia.

The disorder doesn't have a cure, though anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, and anti-convulsants. Pain relief can also improve symptoms.

In December, Celine's older sister, Claudette gave a fresh update on the It's All Coming Back To Me Now hitmaker's progress. 

Speaking to Canadian site 7 Jours, Claudette said: "She's working hard, but she doesn't have control over her muscles. 

WATCH: Celine Dion's ongoing health battle explained

"What breaks my heart is that she's always been disciplined. She's always worked hard. Our mother always told her: 'You're going to do it well; you're going to do it properly." 

She added: "It's true that in both our dreams and hers, the goal is to return to the stage. In what capacity? I don't know." 

 Singer Celine Dion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in brown dress with off the shoulder oversized detailing© NBC
Celine's career has been forced to take a backseat as she prioritises her health

Claudette, 74, has shared several health updates about her sibling in recent months. "We're all crossing our fingers, and I'm glad people are concerned," she said during a TV show appearance in Quebec. 

"She is working hard, and we are confident that we will succeed."

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