Jul 06, 2016 - C.B.S. WOMAN NAMED NATIONAL MADD PRESIDENT


When her stepson was killed by a drunk driver three years ago, Patricia Hynes-Coates felt helpless to change things.

 

Patricia Hynes-Coates of Conception Bay South was recently appointed president of MADD Canada, the first time a person from this province will have held the position.

Now, in a new prominent role, she believes she can make a difference — to help other families and work to prevent impaired driving across the country.

The Conception Bay South woman has been appointed Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada’s president — the first time anyone from this province has been held the position.

“I’m honoured and shocked,” said Hynes-Coates, who beat out several other candidates across Canada for the role. “I feel very privileged to have this position.”

Hynes-Coates first became involved with MADD in 2013 following the tragic death of her stepson, Nicholas Coates. The 27-year-old was riding his motorcycle to work on Kenmount Road Aug. 16, 2013, when he was struck by pickup truck driven by an impaired driver.

In April 2015, Ronald Thistle was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death.

Hynes-Coates still fights back tears when speaking about Nicholas, who had just landed his dream job as a civil engineer when he was killed. She and Nicholas’s father, Terry Coates, still feel deep loss.

The couple has already done plenty of work as members of MADD’s Avalon Chapter in this province, fundraising, raising awareness and lobbying to change laws.

Hynes-Coates is glad she will now get to advocate federally, as she will have the chance to meet with various federal government officials.

I give a voice to the voiceless. Many people are still broken and aren’t strong enough after losing loved ones to impaired driving. They can’t move on.”

Patricia Hynes-Coates

But she was quick to point out that it’s not about her.

“It’s about Nicholas and all the victims of impaired driving,” she said, pointed out that an average of four people a day are killed by impaired drivers in Canada and an average of 175 injured.

“I give a voice to the voiceless. Many people are still broken and aren’t strong enough after losing loved ones to impaired driving. They can’t move on.

“I’ve been blessed with a big mouth,” she added with a chuckle. That’s what Nicholas used to say to me. So, this gives me a chance to speak on their behalf.

“I’m committed to doing everything I can to prevent this terrible tragedy from happening to others.”

She will officially begin her three-year term Sept. 25 at MADD Canada’s national leadership conference.

“Patricia brings strength, enthusiasm and a deep personal commitment to this role,” MADD Canada executive officer Andrew Murie said in a news release. “She will be a powerful and effective ambassador for our organization as we continue our work to end impaired driving and support victims of this violent crime.”

RELATED STORY: Feb 02, 2016 - "It's devastating"

Source: The Telegram


 

Last updated on: 2016-07-19 | Link to this post