You may not have known Quinn Stevenson, 17, but if you’re from Saskatoon you likely know a bit of his story. On Aug. 3, 2013, he was killed on his way to work in a collision on College Drive at the hands of a drunk driver.
His mother Bonny Stevenson has become an anti-impaired driving advocate in the province and to this day, believes no one sets out to kill someone when they get behind the wheel drunk and yet it still happens.
“Any time there’s an accident it takes you right back.”
She describes her late son as a passionate teen who loved life. His death altered the family forever but his name will still live on, as part of a provincial memorial monument, carved from stone outside of Saskatoon city hall, which is to be unveiled on May 25.
“I think we can hear all the stats over and over and over that SGI puts out there,” Stevenson said.
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“But seeing a visual with a bunch of names, how old these people were and in the case of the Van de Vorsts – a whole family – I think it will be impactful.”
Families in Saskatchewan, who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to impaired driving, are being encouraged to submit information to MADD Canada by May 5.
The only criteria is that the victim’s manner of death will need to be verified by the agency, prior to the name being engraved as part of the tribute.
“It’s just that reminder of the impact of impaired driving and that sober-second thought – realizing that it’s not that you might get a ticket or have to pay some fines but there’s actual lives attached to this,” said Michelle Okere, regional manager for Saskatchewan and Manitoba with MADD Canada.
In 2017, there were 39 impaired driving-related deaths on Saskatchewan roadways – down from 57 in 2016. The goal with the monument is that once installed, with a bench for families to sit and reflect, is that not a single name of another victim will have to be added.
“If you can afford to go out and drink for the evening, you can pay for a cab.”
To have your loved one’s name added to the monument, contact Gillian Phillips with MADD Canada victim services at 1-866-461-4077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.