MADD hold vigil

An­nual event re­mem­ber­ing those lost

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY danette@nl.rogers.com

An es­ti­mated 70 peo­ple at­tended MADD Labrador Can­dle­light Vigil at the Sal­va­tion Army Church in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay on Oct. 17. An an­nual event, the vigil re­mem­bers and honours vic­tims of im­paired driv­ers.

The RCMP’s Rigo­let de­tach­ment com­man­der Cpl. David Whit­ten was among the at­ten­dees. The vigil is his way of hon­our­ing his grand­fa­ther, David Whit­ten (who he is called af­ter) and his un­cle, Glenn Whit­ten, who were both killed by an im­paired driver in Goose Bay on Aug. 29, 1972.

“My grand­fa­ther was 38-years-old at the time of the ac­ci­dent,” said Cpl. Whit­ten, “Iron­i­cally enough, I am 38 years old now,” Whit­ten said in a post that’s been shared to the RCMP NL Facebook page.

Whit­ten’s Un­cle Glenn was 12 at the time of the crash.

MADD Labrador Chap­ter pres­i­dent An­gela Ware­ham said those in at­ten­dance at the vigil in­cluded vic­tims of im­paired driv­ers, their fam­i­lies and other con­cerned cit­i­zens.

Ware­ham said there was an hon­our guard con­sist­ing of mem­bers of the RCMP, Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices, Emer­gency Flight Ser­vices and the fire depart­ment.

“We had Scouts there this year... I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to get our mes­sage out to them as well,” she said.

The Sal­va­tion Army, Pen­te­costal and North­ern Cross Church led a prayer ser­vice dur­ing the vigil.

The Sal­va­tion Army Church is a com­fort­ing set­ting for the vigil, Ware­ham said, and Capt. Brent Haas is a great help in or­ga­niz­ing the event.

“Lewis Bar­ney also helped us with the singing. He did our mu­sic and sang a cou­ple of songs for us,” Ware­ham said.

Im­pact

Ac­cord­ing to MADD Canada, crashes in­volv­ing al­co­hol and/ or drugs are a lead­ing crim­i­nal cause of death in Canada

Ap­prox­i­mately 65,000 Cana­di­ans are im­pacted by im­paired driv­ers an­nu­ally, their web­site notes.

Ware­ham said all you need to do is look at court doc­u­ments to see that peo­ple con­tinue to drink and drive.

“There are still four peo­ple be­ing killed on our high­ways ev­ery day by im­paired driv­ing and 175 peo­ple that are be­ing in­jured ev­ery day,” she said of what’s hap­pen­ing across the coun­try.

Aware­ness

Ware­ham said her chap­ter was pleased with the num­ber of peo­ple who turned out to the vigil.

“We’re get­ting more and more recog­ni­tion ev­ery year not only to re­mem­ber and hon­our the vic­tims (of im­paired driv­ing) but to get our mes­sage of aware­ness out there. That this vi­o­lent crime needs to stop,” she said.

In post­ing about the vigil to RCMP NL Facebook page, Whit­ten re­minded the pub­lic of the dan­gers of im­paired op­er­a­tion of ve­hi­cle. The RCMP urges mo­torists to call 911 should they sus­pect some­one is driv­ing while im­paired, he said.

“Pro­vid­ing a de­scrip­tion of the ve­hi­cle and driver, a li­cence plate num­ber and di­rec­tion of travel can as­sist po­lice in lo­cat­ing the ve­hi­cle and get­ting the im­paired driver off the road,” Whit­ten said.

CONTRIBUTED

Cpl. David Whit­ten, Cst. Scott Nedeau, Cst. Christo­pher At­tewell and S/Cst. Wayne Win­sor at­tend MADD Labrador’s Can­dle­light Vigil in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay on Wed­nes­day, Oct.17.

EVAN CA­REEN — THE LABRADORIAN

Cpl. David Whit­ten lighting a can­dle at the MADD Labrador Can­dle­light Vigil as a way of hon­our­ing fam­ily mem­bers who were killed by an im­paired driver.

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