A new monument is honouring the lives of people killed as result of impaired driving in Manitoba.

On Sunday, families gathered for the unveiling of the Manitoba Memorial Victim Monument Site, a project realized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving Manitoba.

MADD says the monument is the first of its kind in Western Canada.

The monument at Glen Eden Funeral Home and Cemetery in West St. Paul will be marked with the names of Manitobans killed by impaired drivers.

Each name etched into the monument located at Glen Eden Funeral Home and Cemetery honours and remembers victims, including Paul Kler.

Kler, 64, was driving to work in September 2012 when an impaired driver hit his vehicle near Sanford, roughly 35 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

“He was the most understanding, compassionate, non- judgmental,” said Kler’s stepdaughter, Julie Martens. “And let me tell you I put him through the ringer at times."

Martens said time and forgiveness hasn't lessened the pain from not saying goodbye.

"It's a horrific way to loose somebody. When you wake up in the morning, and it's completely unexpected, and all of sudden they’re gone," she said.

Melody Bodnarchuk lost her 22-year old nephew, Brett Yasinsky.

Bodnarchuk said wanted to create a beautiful space for families to find comfort and reflect.

"Now and then you won't cry because who lost them, but find the peace in your heart because you had them," she told families and friends from the podium.

Impaired driving fatalities on the rise

The unveiling of the monument comes at a time Manitoba RCMP say the number people dying in the province in crashes due to impaired driving is up, compared to 2015.

RCMP said 26 Manitobans have died in 2016.

It said impaired driving is the cause of 43 per cent of all fatal collisions, compared to around 40 per cent in 2015 and the average over the last five years.

“It's the number one for us, for sure,” said Supt. Joanne Keeping on Sunday at the monument.

“We think overall the weather has been warmer, there's more traffic on our highways, but also people still haven’t learned the lesson," she said.

Source: CTV News Winnipeg


Last updated on: 2016-09-05 | Link to this post