Kelowna remembers loved ones lost to drunk driving
Bad Video Embed Code

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

Firefighters responded to a house fire on Banks Crescent in Summerland on Friday afternoon. The fire began as a stovetop fire but resulted in significant damages. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Fire results in damage to Summerland home

Crews called on Friday, April 9 following stovetop fire

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Town of Oliver’s Town Offices, which the town wants to get designated a heritage site. (Black Press)
Oliver council to weigh nixing alerts for water leaks

Staff say the policy has served its purpose in fixing the majority of leaks

(Stock photo)
Snow levels above normal in Okanagan

Spring temperatures, rainfall will affect risk of flooding

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Alastair Grant
Flags drop, bells toll as Canadians remember special relationship with Prince Philip

‘He was often portrayed as a brisk or brusque, rough character… but it’s that other side of him, the caring individual who spent time with people and asked questions and showed compassion’

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on Thursday, April 8. (Contributed)
Revelstoke yoga class fined for defying COVID-19 orders

The RCMP were called to the Alchemy Studio on April 8

Most Read