The head of MADD Canada is expressing “absolute frustration” over a recent spate of crashes involving alleged drunk drivers, including one that killed a 17-year-old Cochrane teen.

As family and friends mourn the death of Brandon Thomas, 17 — killed Thursday when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a pickup truck on Hwy. 22 south of Cochrane — MADD Canada president Denise Dubyk said she is dismayed motorists aren’t getting the anti-drinking and driving message.

“I’m very, very heartbroken that people just aren’t getting the message and they don’t realize there are consequences for driving impaired,” she said.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this young man who was an inspiring student.”

Police allege the 22-year-old driver of the pickup that killed Thomas, Ryan Jordan Gibson, was drunk and he is facing six charges, including impaired driving causing death.

“People continue to think they’re not going to get caught, they continue to believe they can get from Point A to Point B,” said Dubyk.

On Saturday, a Calgary man was sent to hospital in life-threatening condition after his car was T-boned on the driver’s side at 52 St. and Madigan Dr. N.E. by an alleged drunk driver, who was then rear-ended by another alleged drunk driver.

“It’s a sad indictment that we’re dealing with a crash that happens mid-afternoon involving two people (allegedly) under the influence of alcohol,” said Insp. Paul Stacey.

“The only person injured, and injured quite badly, was the person who hadn’t been drinking.

 “There’s a heavy societal cost to this and it’s not something we’ll ever give up on.”

A 48-year-old woman is facing charges of impaired driving, impaired driving causing bodily harm and refusing to provide a blood sample.

Along with being handed a three-day licence suspension under the .05 law, a 46-year-old man is also facing charges of driving while suspended and driving an unregistered vehicle and driving an uninsured vehicle.

As long as drivers continue getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink, MADD will continue pushing its message, said Dubyk.

“Absolute frustration but you just keep on keeping on because we know we’re making a difference, we know this is not acceptable to society and there is no excuse for impaired driving anymore,” she said.

“We’ve had 29 fatalities in Calgary this year and 11 of them are alcohol-related — it has to change and we all have to help make that difference.”

Source:  The Calgary Sun

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Last updated on: 2012-12-10 | Link to this post