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Memorial honouring victims of impaired drivers unveiled in Saskatoon

Forty-five names are on the red and black monument unveiled in Saskatoon on May 25, 2019, to remember victims of impaired drivers. Brady Ratzlaff / Global News

A new memorial to the victims of impaired driving has been unveiled in Saskatoon.

Families and friends of victims were on hand for the unveiling of the monument on Saturday outside of Saskatoon’s city hall.

READ MORE: Sask. families asked to submit names for victims of impaired driving monument

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), provincial and municipal leaders and members of law enforcement joined them.

The memorial is meant to express an important message about the past and for the future.

“It gives family members who have lost loved ones to impaired driving a permanent memorial so that their loved one is never forgotten,” said Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada.

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READ MORE: MADD Canada receives boost in funding from Sask. government

The red and black monument bears 45 names.

Lou Van de Vorst and Allan Kerpan were instrumental in the creation of the memorial.

Van de Vorst lost his son, Jordan, daughter-in-law, Chanda, and two grandchildren, Kamryn and Miguire, to an impaired driver in January 2016.

Kerpan’s 25-year-old daughter, Danille, was killed in October 2014 when a drunk driver travelling the wrong way on Highway 11 near Bladworth collided with her vehicle.

READ MORE: Sask. study looks at the impact impaired driving has on victim’s families

Impaired driving is the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan roads. According to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), 39 per cent of traffic deaths in the province during 2017 involved drug or alcohol use.

Four other provinces have a provincial memorial for victims of impaired driving.

WATCH ( March 2019): SADD driving home the consequences of impaired driving

Click to play video: 'SADD driving home the consequences of impaired driving'
SADD driving home the consequences of impaired driving

— With files from the Canadian Press

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