Mothers Against Drunk Driving Prince Albert member Robyn Keays is seen at Saturday’s “MADD About Prince Albert” event at Kinsmen Park.

Intended as a fun community get-together to raise awareness about impaired driving, Saturday’s “MADD About Prince Albert” also had an emotional side.

 Remembering those we’ve lost to impaired driving in recent years, pastor Nora Vedress read more names than anyone would like to hear during the Kinsmen Park event’s memorial component.

Crystal Gayle Rivet, Ellen Gail Stefanuk, Taylor Jade Litwin, Jocelynn Diane Lavoie, Daniel James Carter, Brandy Shay Lynn Roy Lepine, Ben Darchuk and Amy Perlitz are a handful of people who many in Prince Albert know as fatal victims of impaired drivers.

But, there are many more victims of impaired driving who survived their ordeal, such as Regan Joseph Trusty, who made the decision to get into a car with an impaired driver on August 27, 2012.

Travelling at 112 km/hr, the car lost control and hit a tree on 28th Street West, sending Trusty to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

Suffering a traumatic brain injury, he spent six days in a coma and two months in hospital before being released.

Another survivor of a suspected impaired driving incident, Robyn Keays recently joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving in order to help instill the importance of not drinking and driving within others in her community.

In 1994, she joined a carload of friends in returning home to Prince Albert from a party to celebrate the return to school for Grade 11.

Another vehicle crashed into theirs, with all of its occupants suffering injuries, some more severe than others.

Keays’ hips were bruised, she suffered internal bleeding and she received severe whiplash that has resulted in ongoing back problems she carries today.

Also treated at Victoria Hospital, the suspected impaired driver wasn’t offered a breathalyzer right away, and by the time the driver blew into one he blew below the legal limit.

Even so, Keays maintains that this is another example of why alcohol and driving are a dangerous mix.

But, things seem to be turning around.          

“I’ve seen a significant change in the high schools,” she reported. “In the community, maybe a little bit, but when I was in the high school there was always one or two (students per year) who passed due to impaired driving, but so far there haven’t been any in the last couple years -- knock on wood.

“I’m just hoping that our events and other events can bring in more community awareness to prevent it.”

Source: Prince Albert Herald


Last updated on: 2015-10-08 | Link to this post