I lost my 16 year old daughter Theresa McFaul on October 29, 2000.

The night she was killed it was extremely foggy and I remember thinking I was glad Theresa was just down the road at a friends, very near home.

Twenty minutes before she was due home I started to get a really bad feeling and called over to the house she was at and they told me Theresa had left with another girl.

I called over to that girl's house and there was no answer. I called my husband to come home from work as I was worried about Theresa.

Theresa was never late or missed curfews because she hated to worry me. She wasn't late yet but I just felt she was in trouble and something was very wrong.


My husband arrived home and we were out the front when the police car pulled up.

I remember asking the officer over and over where is she and he finally said she is deceased. I went to pieces; the only thing I kept asking was to be taken to her that I had to go to her.

The last time I saw my beautiful daughter was in the medical examiners office, she was covered in a blue sheet with only one of her hands out for me to hold.

That is a nightmare that will never leave me, just writing it now is like I am back in that room, the horror, the finality at that point having to believe it was Theresa that had been killed, when the police told me I had clung to the fact they had made a mistake and it wasn't, couldn't be my Theresa.

Soon as I saw her hand I knew.

Life became a nightmare of days and nights with no endings and the only thing that kept me sane and clinging to life was my son and youngest daughter.

Theresa was my middle child. I knew I had to survive for their sakes and help them with the terrible grief of the loss of their sister.

My youngest daughter who is now a year older than Theresa has found it harder to deal with the loss the older she gets, especially when she turned 16.

Her brother and her are extremely close and I treasure each moment I have with them, knowing how easily it can all be snatched away and the terrible consequences of what can happen when someone chooses to drink and drive.

The girl responsible for the crash had 10 charges against her including impaired driving causing death and negligent and dangerous driving causing death.

The girl was charged as a young offender and was found not guilty on all the charges. Guilt was only admitted later at a civil hearing and I found out how high the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) reading really was.

Theresa was a passenger in this girls truck that night, I still to this day don't have any other information apart from she was speeding (in the fog that night even the emergency vehicles had to go 40-50) lost control went into one ditch spun out and ended up in the opposite side of the road and flipped in the ditch.


My daughter was crushed under the vehicle. Theresa was a always so careful about people drinking and driving we talked about it lots.

In the last four months before she was killed, twice she had gone into town with friends and made them take a cab home as the boy that had driven them in had been drinking.

I honestly don't think she realized how much that girl had been drinking that night as they didn't spend the evening together.

We miss Theresa every day, she just had such a sweet way about her everyone that met her loved her.

She wrote beautiful poetry, loved to dance, read and be with her family and friends and pets.




As the first anniversary was approaching that is when I got involved with MADD and I have been here ever since.First as a volunteer, then the President and spokesperson and now as a full time staff member. I also do victim support for the chapter and anyone who needs us.

My dream is one day we can close our doors as we will no longer be needed, until that day working in Theresa's memory you will always find me here.

Submitted by: Gillian Phillips

MADD Canada, Edmonton Chapter


Last updated on: 2012-09-17 | Link to this post