October 4, 2018
Cody Andrews’ parents and sister pulled a blue sheet off the back of a transport tanker trailer Thursday in Sarnia to reveal his photo and a message aimed at preventing more deaths at the hands of impaired drivers.
Andrews, of New Hamburg, was 23 when he and Jerry Pitre were killed in September 2016 in London when the car they were in was hit by a man later convicted of driving with twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
The unveiling was held at the RTL – Westcan trucking yard on Scott Road, where the company and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada launched a program that will see decals attached to 40 truck trailers in Ontario encouraging the public to call 911 if they suspect someone is driving impaired.
It continues an effort the company began in Western Canada in 2012 and the Ontario decals will feature photos of Andrews and Carol Grimmond who was killed by an impaired driver while visiting family in Oakville during the 2012 Thanksgiving weekend.
Her mother, Gladys Grimmond, also attended Thursday’s event where she also unveiled a decal with her daughter’s picture.
“This is a novel and effective way of getting the sober driving message out to a significant number of people,” said Patricia Hynes-Coates, national president of MADD Canada.
“Westcan’s trucks are on the road every day and are seen by thousands of drivers.”
The driver who killed Andrews was convicted and sentenced in January to 10 years in prison.
“Our family is forever broken,” David Andrews, Cody’s father, said Thursday at the unveiling.
“Cody’s death was so senseless and preventable.”
Sarnia Police Chief Norm Hansen thanked the company for putting the signs out on highways “where thousands of people are going to see them.”
He added, “Sarnia police will continue to strictly enforce impaired operation on our streets and we hope to eradicate it.”
It’s estimated more than 12,000 people in Canada died between 2000 and 2014 as a result of crashes involving drinking drivers, according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction.
Insp. Chris Avery said the number of impaired driving charges laid by Lambton OPP dropped from 174 in 2008 to 71 last year.
“We certainly continue our efforts to be diligent to eliminate this danger from our community,” he said.
Stephanie Theede, a vice-president with RTL – Westcan, said nearly 200 of its trailers will now carry decals with the faces of victims and a message about reporting impaired drivers.
“Impaired driving has deadly consequences,” she said.
“We have an ability to bring an important message to motorists, that it’s not OK to drive impaired.”