SASKATOON – An alleged impaired driving collision on Sunday in Saskatoon is shocking, in part because it happened in the middle of the day, according to a mother who lost her son in a drunk driving collision.
“I guess you always question the why, I mean it’s such a simple thing, if you’ve been drinking, you don’t drive,” said Bonny Stevenson, whose son Quinn died in 2013 after being struck by a drunk driver while on his way to work.
“The message is the same, doesn’t matter what time of day.”
Sunday’s collision occurred at around 1:15 in the afternoon, according to police. They say a pickup truck hit two eastbound vehicles at the intersection of 22nd Street West and Confederation Drive. The truck then jumped the median and collided with a bus and another vehicle.
The driver of the truck, a 38-year-old Saskatoon man, was arrested and charged with impaired driving. Traffic remained restricted in the area for hours.
“It’s very concerning, we have an incident when the charges are impaired driving and it’s the middle of the day,” said Alyson Edwards, a spokesperson with the Saskatoon Police Service.
More than half of alcohol-related collisions in Saskatchewan occurred between the hours of 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. in 2014, according to the most recent Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) statistics. Between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., 24.7 per cent of crashes occurred.
“It’s people who have addictions issues in many cases and we’re seeing the results of that twenty-four hours a day,” said Edwards.
Impaired driving charges increased in Saskatoon by 13 per cent in 2015, according to Edwards. She said a mixture of education, preparation and enforcement may change the trend, but in the end, the onus is on drivers.
“We rely on the public to make good decisions and not get behind the wheel of a car,” said Edwards.
Tougher prison sentences, including a set minimum for those convicted in fatal alcohol-related crashes could deter drivers, according to Stevenson. The man who killed her son received a two-year sentence.
“I don’t know that there is any way to ever describe to anyone the pain of having that police officer at your door, telling you that your son is deceased,” said Stevenson.
“There is no worse mourning.”