On Dec. 10, 2003, our only child, Jennifer Leigh McCullough, 21, was killed by an impaired driver at 6:30 in the morning.

It does not matter what time of day it is, there is a drunk out on the road.

We had all of her Christmas presents bought and wrapped. I still have her last Christmas gift wish list.

What a devastating, horrible thing to have two RCMP officers show up at the door to tell us our precious daughter had been killed by a stupid person, someone who did not get it.

It destroyed us. I developed an addiction to sleeping pills because every night when I would close my eyes, I could see what her body must have looked like.

We were not allowed to see her because the crash had been so devastating. Mountie at the scene showed my husband a photo of the crash so he would know that Jenn had been killed instantly. He has that image to live with forever.

Since 2003, I estimate, based on Internet searches, that about 530 people in Alberta have been killed by impaired drivers.

Behind every one of those deaths is a family, real people who have had their lives torn apart forever by a needless, reckless, selfish act.

Depression, divorce, suicide and addiction are the fallout when a loved one is killed by an impaired driver.

A lot of the people who kill while impaired are repeat offenders many times over.

Those people should have been fined more severely, had their licences taken away for a very long time, and their human rights be damned.

These 530 deaths were totally preventable. One of them could have been you, your wife, husband, son or daughter.

We are approaching the time of year when people go to Christmas parties, have a few drinks, celebrate. No one is saying not to drink, not to have a good time.

But be prepared. Take a cab, have a designated driver, be the designated driver, stay overnight where you are. How can this be so hard for some people to understand?

Ten years later, I still do not sleep, though I no longer take any pills.

Our lives are still destroyed. We hate Christmas.

We have to make pretences for our family, but they are aware of our grief. Our daughter was a beautiful girl, a lovely young woman. She has no life, no future, nothing.

Our lives will never be the same, and we are only one of 530 families in the province of Alberta who have gone through what we did.

Don’t feel sorry for us, do something about it.

Make the right, smart choices this holiday season, so that you are not one of the statistics that is a very real person, a very real family, destroyed by impaired driving.

Lynda McCullough lives in Sherwood Park.

Source: Edmonton Journal


Last updated on: 2013-12-17 | Link to this post