B.C. RCMP officers have been cracking down on impaired drivers, all in the name of a four-year-old girl.

The incident happened in 2008, when an impaired driver hit four-year-old Alexa Renée Middelaer while she was petting a horse on the side of a road in Delta. Young Alexa died of her injuries, and the 56-year-old female driver was later convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm and death.

Photo of young Alexa Middelaer as a reminder at the ceremony for Alexa's Team

Alexa’s Team was created soon after, a program that recognizes police officers who make extraordinary contributions in reducing the number of impaired drivers on B.C. roads. Since, members have processed more than 66,000 sanctions for alcohol- and drug-related driving offences.

In the Southeast District, which includes the Okanagan, 74 members of Alexa’s Team made 2,395 sanctions and reports to Crown Counsel in 2014 alone.

Alexa’s Team members from the Southeast District were honoured Wednesday morning in Kelowna with a ceremony at Quigley Elementary School.

Alexa's Team receiving their hats from a Quigley grade six class.

In total, 17 members from Kelowna were honoured for their work as part of Alexa’s Team, meaning that they have each taken a minimum of 12 impaired drivers off the road in the last year. In addition, three members from the Central Okanagan Traffic Services were honoured, as well as eight members from West Kelowna. These Alexa’s Team members received a certificate as well as a hat showing that they were part of the team. The 28 Alexa’s Team members from the Central Okanagan have removed 1,021 impaired drivers from our roads.

Of the Kelowna RCMP members recognized, five members were named All-Star team members for taking at least 34 impaired drivers off the road in 2014.

“As a family, we have been pleased to recognize our police officers, these unsung heroes who have made a difference each and every day,” says Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother. Both Alexa’s parent have been actively advocating for road safety for her legacy.

Alexa's Team from the Southeast District.

Alexa’s aunt Daphne Johanson attended for the family in Kelowna. “On behalf of my family, I’m honoured to be at the event and to see that they [the officers] being recognized for their efforts,” said Johanson. She said that Alexa’s legacy has shown that the tragedy wasn’t just about a family losing a young one, but about how the community is impacted as well.

New measures to combat drinking and driving in B.C. were enacted in 2010, and the alcohol-related death toll on B.C.’s roads has been reduced by 52 per cent since.

Source: Kelowna Now


Last updated on: 2015-06-12 | Link to this post