Families of victims want the monument to help educate and reduce impaired driving deaths

Names of victims of impaired driving appear on the monument, shaped like a large sundial.

A large black-and-red sundial decorated with the names of victims of impaired driving crashes now stands on the lawn outside of Saskatoon City Hall.

The monument was created by Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada in collaboration with families who have lost loved ones to impaired driving.

The sundial is meant to represent the passing of time and how, for victim's families, every passing moment is time spent without their loved ones.

Lou Van de Vorst said it's hard to see the names of his son, Jordan, daughter-in-law, Chanda, and grandchildren, Miguire and Kamryn on the statue.

The young family was killed in January, 2016 by a drunk driver who failed to halt at a stop sign at Wanuskewin Road and Highway 11. Catherine McKay, who was found to have a blood-alcohol level three times higher than the legal limit, pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death in June 2016.

The names of Jordan and Chanda Van de Vorst along with their two-year-old son, Miguire, and five-year-old daughter, Kamryn are written on the monument. 

Van de Vorst said he's thankful that the City allowed them to put the monument on a prominent piece of land and he hopes it will bring about positive change.

"We wanted to have it in a public place in Saskatoon where people could drive by and be reminded of the severity of impaired driving crashes in Saskatchewan and hopefully those numbers will continue to go down."

Linda Van de Vorst called the memorial "breathtaking." She also echoed her husband's hope that the monument can be a teaching tool.

"We don't want anyone else to go through what we've gone through," she said.

"These are preventable deaths"

The symbolic sundial design is unique compared to other impaired driving monuments, according to Steve Sullivan, MADD Canada's Director of Victim Services.

Most of the other tributes around the country look more like gravestones, he said. The one in Saskatoon is designed to catch people's attention, and have them reflect on the impact of impaired driving.

He said there will be a ceremony held at the monument every year in which they add new names to it. Families who have lost loved ones to impaired driving but didn't know that the monument was being built can still submit names to go on the plaque as well.

"These are preventable deaths, and so [families] want to try and make sure that their loved ones are recognized and people can learn from that," Sullivan said.

"Every one of those names is a father, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, a brother, and there's so many people left behind."

Source: CBC News



Last updated on: 2019-10-17 | Link to this post