It was on a May long weekend 42 years ago, long before she was born, that Rita lost a great uncle and two cousins in a highway drunk-driving collision.

 So when Rita and her sister Rebecca were driving home from the lake this past May long weekend Sunday, and saw what they quickly determined was an impaired driver, they wasted little time debating what to do.

“It’s too serious not to call it in,” said Rita, who did not want to disclose her last name. “Who wants the burden of a crash (on their conscience) when you could have prevented it.”

Rita said she and her sister were driving on Highway 313 around 2 p.m. when a man driving a pickup truck ahead of them started weaving into oncoming traffic and onto the gravel shoulder.

“He was going 80 kilometres per hour in a 100 km/h zone, that was our first clue,” said Rita, 26. “It was really obvious the person was intoxicated.”

Rita and Rebecca continued to follow the truck for about 10 minutes before calling 911.

“They said ‘Okay, follow him, and if he makes any weird turns or moves, call us,” Rita said.

Police pulled the truck over 10 minutes later. The 66-year-old male driver failed a roadside sobriety test and was charged with drunk driving.

Rita and Rebecca met with police to provide witness statements before returning home.

“It took about an hour out of our commute home, but every second was worth it,” Rita said. “We got a drunk driver off the road. I feel real proud of my sister and me. “

Had somebody done the same thing 42 years ago, her uncle and cousins might still be alive, Rita said.

“I feel we’ve probably saved someone’s life,” she said.

Tips from the public remain the number one way police catch drunk drivers, said RCMP spokesman Sgt. Bert Paquet.

“They are an extension of our eyes and ears and will often see things we don’t,” Paquet said. “When in doubt, make that call ... Just look at the consequences. You don’t make that call, you don’t know what might happen after.

“There’s no question calls like this save lives,” Paquet said.

Source: Winnipeg Sun

Last updated on: 2016-06-20 | Link to this post