June 27, 2019
A roadside memorial sign was unveiled near Lorette Wednesday afternoon, paying tribute to a woman killed by a drunk driver.
Gillian Phillips is Victim Services Manager with MADD Canada. She says the sign that went up is in memory of 29-year-old Shea Fright. Fright was on her way home from work on the morning of June 26, 2016 when her car was struck by an impaired driver in a pick-up truck. The fatal collision happened along Provincial Road 207, just north of Lorette.
“The next thing, her parents are getting the worse news a parent can ever have, when you lose a child, you lose a family member, loved one, you don’t recover from it,” says Phillips.
Phillips says Kelly and Leah Fright are courageous parents for being able to unveil this memorial three years later.
Phillips, who met the Frights three weeks after they lost their daughter, says the only requirements for a roadside memorial sign to be erected, are that there must be an impaired charge, the courts must be finished with the case and the sign has to go up along a provincial highway.
The sign has a red ribbon, the MADD logo and says, “IN MEMORY OF Shea Fright.”
This is only the second sign of its kind to go up in Manitoba, though Phillips says there are additional families working on getting their signs erected yet this summer.
According to Phillips, two things happen when somebody sees the sign. First of all, they realize that somebody was killed there. But, because it is a MADD sign, they also know that the fatality was caused by a drunk driver. She is hopeful this new sign will cause people to make different choices, along with their friends and family members.
Kelly and Leah Fright fought back tears at Wednesday’s ceremony. The mother says they chose to unveil a sign because of how important it is to share their loss with everybody.
“So the impact is known to these individuals who are making these poor choices,” says Fright. “People need to know it is a simple choice that they are forgetting to make and people’s lives are being lost.”
“Just think about your next drink,” asks Kelly Fright.
Fright says he has witnessed people walking into bars in the southeast after a hard day’s work, consume eight drinks, then hop into their vehicle and drive away.
“It still happens continuously, it’s a shame,” he says. “When will people smarten up?”