Mothers Against Drunk Driving say they aren’t surprised by a recent spike in impaired driving cases.
In London specifically there were 11 cases where impaired driving was believed to be a factor since last Thursday, including fatal collision that took the life of a 60-year-old woman at Richmond and Sunningdale.
Then on Sunday night, a 29-year-old London woman was killed and her infant son critically wounded in a crash just west of Kitchener. The suspect in that case faces a number of charges including impaired driving causing death.
MADD spokesperson Sean Dechene told AM980 it’s a tragic reminder that impaired driving has always been dangerous, and will remain so.
“The fact that someone’s life was taken from them, it further drives home a sense of realism. We need to be forward looking to the future, support victims and make sure within our community we have a support system in place so when these tragedies do happen we can help in whatever way we can.”
It was only eight days ago that the annual Festive R.I.D.E. program by police began. The program runs from November 21st to January 7th, 2017.
Impaired driving is a leading criminal cause of death in Canada.
London Police Sgt. Amanda Pfeffer told AM980 people need to take responsibility and make sure they’re being proactive.
“The most important tool in our toolbox in relation to prevention impaired driving is to encourage individuals to plan ahead. Time and again we see impaired drivers explaining that they anticipate that they would drive, that they didn’t have another option to get home. Make those arrangements before you consume alcohol and you’re far less likely to make poor choices.”
In the most recent case, OPP say the 29-year-old victim was killed and her two-month-old son was critically injured in the collision on Highway 7/8 in Wilmot Township Sunday night.
Investigators say the woman was pronounced dead in hospital, and her baby was airlifted to a trauma centre with life-threatening injuries.
Due to a court publication ban, neither the mother nor the child can be identified.
Police say 26 year old Ahmed Darwish of Kitchener is facing several charges including impaired driving causing death, fail to provide a breath sample causing bodily harm and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.
Last Thursday, 60-year-old Thorndale native Gloria Chivers was killed in a crash in the intersection at Richmond and Sunningdale. 23-year-old Jinghao Zhou, of London is facing a number of charges including impaired driving causing death.
Zhou is scheduled to appear at a bail hearing at the London courthouse Tuesday morning.
Dechene said they won’t stop telling people about the dangers of drinking and driving.
“Keep driving home the message that it is 100% preventable and there is no excuse that warrants drinking and driving. There’s always alternate available routes, there’s taxi’s, there’s designated driving services, there’s many options and we want to continue to drive that education home.”