August 25, 2019
Five new names inscribed on the Manitoba Monument for Victims of Impaired Driving in West. St. Paul, Man. were unveiled at a special remembrance ceremony Sunday afternoon.
Each name is a Manitoban who has lost their life in an impaired driving crash. The new names bring the total number of people inscribed on the moment to 75.
The ceremony recognizes and honours the victims, and all who have been affected by impaired driving.
Gillian Phillips is the MADD Canada victim services manager for the western region.
“For those who have suffered a devastating and senseless loss due to impaired driving, the grief never goes away,” said Phillips.
“Our Memorial Monument and candlelight vigil offers them a safe place where they can honour their loved ones, alongside others who understand the kind of loss and pain they have experienced.”
Created in 2016, the monument is located outdoors at the Glen Eden Funeral Home and Cemetery.
There are also surrounding memorial benches which give families and friends a place where they can remember and reflect on their loved ones.
Tia Hildebrand was one of the five new names added to the monument Sunday. Every day is a struggle for her dad Roy Hildebrand.
On Nov. 17, 2018, Hildebrand said his 22-year-old daughter, Tia, got in a vehicle with someone she didn’t know.
He said it was supposed to be a quick trip to the convenience store, but the driver was impaired, hit a tree, and Tia never came home.
“I used to enjoy so many things, and now I wake up every morning and I cry, and I try and make it through the day. Nothing is the same anymore,” Hildebrand said.
A single mom, Tia left behind a daughter who was not yet 2-years-old at the time.
Hildebrand said having Tia’s name inscribed means a lot because she won’t be forgotten.
“I will never stop speaking on her behalf and telling her story and it’s a sad affair. There should be no names on that monument,” he said.
Hildebrand hopes others can learn from what happened to his daughter.
He said people should never drink or do drugs and drive, and never get in a vehicle with someone they don’t trust.
Representatives from the provincial and municipal governments of West St. Paul, East St. Paul, RCMP D Division and Manitoba Public Insurance attended the ceremony.
East St. Paul Mayor Shelley Hart, a former Winnipeg police officer in the traffic division spoke at the ceremony.
Hart said more than 1,000 Canadians die in impaired driving crashes every year.
RCMP inspector Chris Moore also spoke at the ceremony. He said 46 people have lost their lives in collisions in RCMP jurisdictions Manitoba so far this year.
He said of one of those deaths one has been confirmed as the result of impaired driving and there are another nine pending investigations.