Kelowna remembers loved ones lost to drunk driving

Candlelight vigil held for drunk driving victims…

By Mark Dreger

Victims and surviving family members of people injured or killed in drunk driving accidents gathered in Kelowna’s Laurel Packinghouse Sunday for the MADD Central Okanagan Chapter’s fourth annual candlelight vigil.

“It’s a place for victims and survivors to come together to get some support and comfort, but most importantly it’s to pay tribute to their loved one that they’ve lost,” said Jillian Phillips, Victim Services Manager of Western Canada.

“I just hope that when people see this and see the message that they never have to know what that feels like; they never have to come to an event like this because it is honestly the most soul-destroying thing to lose your loved ones through something that’s entirely preventable.”

Canada ranks No. 1 among the 19 wealthy countries in the world for roadway deaths attributed to alcohol. On average just under four Canadians are killed and roughly 175 are injured each day due to alcohol and drug related crashes.

RELATED: MADD AGM

“I personally want there to be more justice,” said Debbie Dalke, who attended to remember her grandson who was killed by a drunk driver. “I want there to be stiffer penalties; it’s just not fair.”

Dalke’s 18-year-old grandson Travis was killed in Edmonton. He was only two minutes away from his home when he was struck by a drunk driver going over three times the speed limit.

“I just wish that more people would attend,” Dalke said. “I know there are lots of people out there and it would be nice for them to come and maybe just have that comfort and feeling that there are others out here.”

While the staggering statistics may be disheartening to some, Phillips says there are places to go for those grieving loss. ‘

MADD Central Okanagan Chapter held the 4th annual Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance at the The Laurel Packing…

Posted by Kelowna Capital News on Sunday, November 5, 2017

“I have met people when I attend these that maybe didn’t know about the national conference that we hold for victims and survivors each April,” Phillips said. “And there’s a few people here today that after we made contact last year came to that last April and they all say how much it’s helped them.”

When asked what others should do when they see others about to drive after drinking, Dalke didn’t hesitate to express the seriousness of drinking and driving.

“If you’re a true friend you would do your best to get them to not drive if they’ve been drinking,” Dalke said. “Take away their keys, threaten you’re going to turn them in, call the cops on them or something. Something has to be done about it; there’s just too much of it going on and they’re not accountable for their actions and it’s so sad.”

According to MADD Canada, crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs are the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. In 2012, 1,497 (58.8 per cent) of crash deaths involved drivers who had some alcohol and/or drugs in their systems.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.

Just Posted

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Cram the Cruiser back in Lake Country

The annual fundraiser will be held Dec. 2 at the Save On

Sagmoen’s court case adjourned again

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

Cougar spotted near Okanagan elementary school

Cougar sighting near Peter Greer Elementary in Lake Country

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Inmate suing Okanagan Correctional over alleged assault

Inmate claims an officer grabbed him by the throat and threw him onto the bed

Indigenous hockey legend skates through Oliver

Multiple record-holder Reggie Leach attended an event honouring old Indigenous hockey players

Most Read