Fa­mi­ly marks third an­ni­ver­sa­ry of Pa­tri­cia ac­ci­dent

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

In a show of sup­port sy­no­ny­mous with the com­mu­ni­ty spi­rit that drives the Ci­ti­zens’ Ac­tion Com­mit­tee on Pu­blic Security, CACSP, the ori­gi­nal St. La­zare chap­ter got to work Sun­day along­side Pa­tri­cia Jo­li­coeur’s fa­mi­ly. Claude, Lyse and their son, Mathieu Jo­li­coeur, spent part of a chil­ly day han­ding more than 1,000 in­for­ma­tion bro­chures to dri­vers on Bé­dard Ave., at the cor­ner of St. Eli­za­beth St.

The mes­sage was simple: “Please slow down for Pa­tri­cia.”

Claude Jo­li­coeur might have ad­ded: Please slow down for eve­ryone’s sake.

Sun­day mar­ked the third an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the night Pa­tri­cia was struck and gra­ve­ly woun­ded while wal­king the fa­mi­ly dog, Maya, on her re­si­den­tial Sadd­le­brook street in St. La­zare.

She cur­rent­ly lives in a se­mi-ve­ge­ta­tive state in aWest Is­land long-term care fa­ci­li­ty.

Dor­val re­sident Ed­ward Ha­kim, who used to live in St. La­zare, was ar­res­ted in con­nec­tion with theNov. 29, 2006crime.

He plea­ded guil­ty to a charge of dan­ge­rous dri­ving cau­sing bo­di­ly in­ju­ries and was sen­ten­ced to 18 months in a pro­vin­cial pri­son for the ac­ci­dent.

He­has since been re­lea­sed.

Trying to­make a dif­fe­rence

No­ting that last wee­kend was es­pe­cial­ly dead­ly on Qué­bec’s roads, Jo­li­coeur said though dri­vers’ ha­bits don’t seem to be chan­ging, he­would “ne­ver stop trying” to get people tos­low­downw­hile be­hind thew­heel.

In for the cam­pai­gn af­ter mo­ving toTo­ron­to last year, foun­der Gilles Bou­dreau saw things dif­fe­rent­ly. No­ting that Jo­li­coeur may un­ders­tan­da­bly feel dis­cou­ra­ged at times, Bou­dreau said he firm­ly be­lieves pre­ven­tion cam­pai­gns in part­ner­ship with SQ po­lice work.

“We know we’re ma­king a dif­fe­rence,” Bou­dreau said, ad­ding, “To­day, we’re not on­ly thin­king of Pa­tri­cia, we’re thin­king of Bianca (Le­duc), of Anee (Khu­da­ver­dian) and­ma­ny others” who were hit in the re­gion in high pro­file road ac­ci­dents.

He said ha­ving the Jo­li­coeur fa­mi­ly on site would help drive home the need to change mo­to­rists’ ha­bits.

“I think it de­mons­trates that it can hap­pen to any­bo­dy,” Bou­dreau said.

Since the ori­gi­nal St. La­zare group for­med in 2005, 16 ad­di­tio­nal com­mit­tees have been foun­ded in off-is­land com­mu­ni­ties.

A chap­ter was al­so for­med in Ste. Anne de Bel­le­vue that­works­wi­thMon­treal Po­lice.

Ac­cor­ding to Bou­dreau, more than 50,000 people have been rea­ched through in­for­ma­tion and edu­ca­tion cam­pai­gns.

Meanw­hile, Jo­li­coeur is de­vo­ting time to a re­cent­ly crea­ted web­site tit­led Road and Traf­fic Vic­tims’ As­so­cia­tion that helps those fa­cing si­mi­lar chal­lenges.

“It can be hard kno­wing where to turn for le­gal or me­di­cal help, kno­wing what re­sources are out there,” Jo­li­coeur said.

Road and Traf­fic Vic­tims’ As­so­cia­tion web­site is: http://road­vic­tims.net­firms.ca.

PHOTO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

Claude and Lyse Jo­li­coeur han­ded out bro­chures to dri­vers as­king them to slow­down.

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