Two weeks before he died, Brandon Thomas completed a class project asking what he wanted to do with life after high school.

The 17-year-old Cochrane resident’s answer was simple: Open an automobile performance shop.

“Cars were his passion and he loved to drive,” recalled mother Kim Thomas.

Brandon began fixing cars at the age of six and attended the World of Wheels automobile show every year in Calgary, making sure to spend a few moments planted in the driver seat of his dream vehicle, a 1999 Subaru Impreza.

Last fall, Brandon finally bought the same model and began souping it up. His plan after finishing Grade 11 was to head out with friends on an epic road trip to B.C., passing through tunnels in Crowsnest Pass, which would serve as a prime spot to rev engines.

But it was not to be. Brandon was on Highway 22 Dec. 6 when a pickup truck being driven in the wrong lane by an allegedly impaired driver struck the Impreza head-on.

Brandon died on scene.

But grieving family and friends are still planning to hit the road in his honour with a goal of collecting 25,000 signatures for Families For Justice, a non-profit organization formed to support victims of impaired driving and lobby government for tougher penalties.

The event, known as CRUZE FOR JR, a play on Brandon being the youngest in his group of friends, departs July 2 from Mitford Ponds in Cochrane. Stops along the route will include Revelstoke, Kelowna and Penticton with the entire caravan due home a week later.

“This is my way to honour my little brother — he’d do the same for me if roles were switched,” Kayla said.

Kim, meanwhile, also plans to stay on the road as long as she can but admits the grief may become too much. She still visits a roadside memorial honouring her son every weekend.

“It’s going to be very hard not seeing his car and him fulfilling his dream,” she said. “He would have loved it so much.”

People can donate to Cruze for Jr., inspired by Brandon Thomas, through an ATB Financial trust fund listed under his name.

Source: Metro News


Last updated on: 2013-06-22 | Link to this post