Nearly 27 years after their daughter’s passing, a Red Deer couple is pleading for people to stop driving when impaired.
Yvette Kalan and Mark Kalan were collecting donations for the Red Deer and District chapter of Mothers Against Driving at Carnival Cinemas on Thursday during National Impaired Driving Prevention Week.
Their daughter, Sherri-Jean Kalan was killed in a car crash on Aug. 23, 1996. She and another male in the vehicle died in the incident near Canmore.
“It’s an absolute tragedy,” Yvette Kalan told The Advocate.
“We have another daughter and it was 10 days before her first birthday that Sherri was killed. She doesn’t even know her sister – we tell her about Sherri all the time, but she only knows what we would tell her.”
The married couple has been volunteering with MADD for 26 years. MADD is described as a charitable, grassroots organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims and survivors of the crime.
“There’s no reason for drinking and driving. There’s all of this information out there, you’ve got Uber and taxis. Why are people still doing it?” Mark Kalan asked.
Yvette Kalan added: “I’m very happy we have (National Impaired Driving Prevention Week) because we can get out there and connect with somebody before something like this happens. It’s so important to be in the news all of the time before there is a tragedy.”
National Impaired Driving Prevention Week is designated as the third week of March each year. The Government of Canada’s website states that it “recognizes the importance of educating Canadians about the consequences of impaired driving due to alcohol, drugs, fatigue or distraction which destroys the lives and health of thousands of Canadians.”
Impaired driving doesn’t just apply to cars, “it also applies to motorcycles, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and other forms of transportation. Everyone has a role to play to ensure safety on Canada’s roads, trails and waterways,” says the government website.
For more information on Red Deer and District’s MADD chapter, visit www.maddchapters.ca/reddeer.