Dec 08, 2013 - ALBERTA-WIDE CHECKSTOP BLITZ RAISES HOPE FOR COCHRANE MOM OF TEEN KILLED BY ALLEGED DRUNK DRIVER [Brandon Thomas]

Saving just one life means a family won’t experience the same anguish Kim Thomas has.

And for Thomas, one life, one family means a lot.

On Friday, the Cochrane mom marked the heartbreaking anniversary of losing her son, Brandon Thomas, 17, in a crash on Hwy. 22., allegedly at the hands of an impaired driver.

On Saturday, Mounties were out in full force, setting up 157 Checkstops — some mobile — around the province as part of a Canada-wide RCMP enforcement campaign targetting impaired drivers.

Supt. Howard Eaton, officer-in-charge of “K” Division Traffic Services, said while the blitz was intended to get impaired drivers off the highways, “the sheer number of Checkstops ... (would) also serve as a very visible reminder to Albertans to make the right choice before getting behind the wheel.”

For at least one grieving mom, the effort means a lot.

“I’m very happy to know the Checkstops are out and the RCMP are doing what they can to get impaired drivers off the roads and to keep us all safe,” said a teary Kim Sunday, the day the blitz wrapped up.

“If it saved one life over the weekend, it was worth it.

“I would never want another family to go through what ours is going through, I would never want an innocent life lost because of someone’s choice.

“It doesn’t get any easier — the longer he’s away, the harder it gets.”

Though she’s supportive of the work of police, Kim suspects Checkstops alone won’t be enough to curb the problem.

She’s part of a group called Families for Justice, which has gathered 50,000 signatures lobbying to have a five-year minimum sentence imposed for those convicted of impaired driving causing death.

Advocates also want the name of that charge changed to vehicular manslaughter, she said.

More than 130 people braved the bitter cold to go to Kim’s home Friday and remember Brandon by lighting up a tree in the yard.

“Everyone came in minus 35 (degree) weather and everyone brought ornaments for Brandon,” she said.

“It was beautiful.

“He was so special, he touched so many lives.”

Results of Mounties’ weekend Checkstop blitz efforts are expected to be released this week.

Meanwhile, Ryan Jordan Gibson faces six charges in relation to the crash that killed Brandon, including impaired driving causing death.

Source: Calgary Sun


 

Last updated on: 2013-12-17 | Link to this post