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Colleen Marie Jerome
John Douglas Jerome

Colleen Marie Jerome
John Douglas Jerome

Home city: Salmo, British Columbia
Age: Colleen 31; John 40
Date of crash: May 22, 1996

On May 22, 1996, Colleen and Doug Jerome, with another couple in their car, were driving back home from Tim Horton’s when a drunk driver who was speeding, crossed over to their lane and hit them head on. Everyone in the crash died except Doug Jerome. Doug was severely brain-injured and remained on a feeding tube in hospital, until he passed away on October 12, 1999.

Memorial Message

The following message was written by Colleen’s sister, Jennifer Cregg, and submitted by Doug’s sister, Georgeanne Arnould.

When Doug and Colleen Jerome decided to take a ride, they did not anticipate that they would not be returning home. The innocence of taking a ride to get your children some doughnuts should not end up in death. That is what happened to our family because of a drunk driver.

Doug and Coll were wonderful parents of three lovely children, Sara, 15, Rachel, 13, and Doogie, 8. Doug chose the teaching profession to be his life’s work. He was Principal at the Salmo Secondary School in Salmo, BC. Doug was well-respected by his peers, he made a real difference in people’s lives that he touched.

Sara and Rachel no longer love to ski, something they used to enjoy doing with their Dad. Doogie no longer sits on his Dad’s lap on Saturday mornings while Doug drinks his coffee.

Colleen was a 31-year-old mother who thought her family was the most important thing in her life. She is no longer there to make the fabulous meals that made her day. Colleen no longer lies with Doogie and reads him a bedtime story or shows her two girls how to wear their makeup in the most attractive way.

This is something that just shouldn’t be.

Poems written by Rachel Jerome

Silent Sadness

Sitting silently in your chair,
I’m wondering if you’re completely there.
Your eyes have lost their twinkling light,
But don’t give in, this is your fight.
Remembering you, before all this sadness,
Before we’d been driven to absolute madness.
Now you watch me, your mind so still,
Your shoes, no one, could ever fill.
We need you as you were before the ‘kerplunk’,
When our world went down because of a pitiful drunk.
You’ve lost all your hunger to help those on the edge,
Now you’re standing on a cliff, hanging from the ledge.
You’ve helped so many in your life,
The students, your children, employees and wife.
But when your end comes it won’t be as tense,
Because at least we know, you’ve made a difference.

I’m with you (Daddy)

My hands are here,
My mind’s with you.
My feet are here,
My heart’s with you.
My legs are here,
My soul’s with you.
My arms are here,
My hope’s with you.
My head is here,
My faith’s with you.
You are the world to me,
Seeing you lay helpless,
kills me.
You’ve saved me from being wrong.
You’ve given me all the qualities I need,
To be your daughter.
Now, I’m trying to give them back.
My mind, my heart, my soul,
My hope, my faith, my love.
They’re yours in a single breath.
Please say you’ll accept them.
Now it’s my turn to save you.
I’ll fight until I do.
But no matter what happens, Daddy,
I’ll always be with you.

Missing You

I tried that day, to say goodbye,
But instead I sat on my bed to cry.
It’s hard to try and understand,
She smiled at us as she took God’s hand.
This happened suddenly, and without a warning,
Now we are all still crying and mourning.
They left without a hug or kiss,
Among much more, I already miss.
I hold my heart as it suddenly breaks,
“I’m sorry” is not all it takes.
At this time, I disagree,
But I thought it was because of me.
I believed that deep inside,
That is why I tried to hide.

If Yesterday Was Different
If yesterday was different,
Would I still feel so alone?
If yesterday was different,
Could I still have learned and grown?
If yesterday was different,
Would the pain fade away?
If yesterday was different,
Would it be a better day?
If yesterday was different,
Would it have another name?
If yesterday was different,
Would tomorrow be the same?

Remembering

My body’s aching,
Pain I’m not faking.
Blood curdling scream,
This isn’t a dream.
Shattered, was my life, suddenly,
Oh what a terrible tragedy.
You can’t get over a loss like this,
It’s something you can’t help, but miss.
Now I’ve lost it all,
Tried so hard not to fall.
But this dark black shape,
Was impossible to escape.
You see them in the sky,
So dark, it burns your eye.
It pulled me in like the devil himself,
Ripped out my heart, to display on a shelf.
Was it me, or something more powerful?
Was it something I could control?
A terrible feeling before the light shone,
The I woke up, with my family gone.
I wish they never entered that car,
For now they are gone, so very far.
But to a good place, with smiles and friends,
Where there is no painful end.
Watching over me day and night,
Inspiring me to take this pen, and write.
They help me through the terrible days,
Help me in so many ways.
Teach me to lean, and live with pride,
To put my negative feelings aside.
Birds singing, sun everywhere,
Seeing these signs and knowing they’re there.
They’ll always be with me in my heart,
Because family can’t ever be apart.

If you would like to add a Photos section, please contact Gloria Appleby at gappleby@madd.ca or 1-800-665-6233, ext. 229. All photos will be subject to approval by MADD Canada staff.

If you submitted this tribute and would like to add a Memories section where visitors can post thoughts, images, and videos, please contact gappleby@madd.ca or Gloria Appleby, 1-800-665-6233, ext. 229. All posts will be subject to approval by MADD Canada staff.

Colleen Marie Jerome
John Douglas Jerome
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