A roadside memorial to honour a woman killed by an impair driver underscores the annual seasonal campaign against drunk driving, MADD says.
On Dec. 5, the memorial was unveiled to honour the memory of Carol Ann Grimmond who is of Guyanese heritage and to serve as a powerful reminder to motorists about the tragic consequences of impaired driving.
The sign, featuring her name and a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) red ribbon image, is located on the westbound side of Hwy. 407 at Lower Baseline Rd.
It was supposed to be a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend for Grimmond and her family in 2012. The field intelligence officer with Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services was home from Windsor for a holiday visit and to attend her Guyana-born grandfather’s 99th birthday party. But tragedy struck on that Saturday night, Oct. 6, 2012.
She was returning from the party in a car driven by her twin brother Colin when they were struck by an impaired driver who was travelling the wrong way on Hwy. 407 near Hwy. 403 in Oakville.
Colin was injured. Carol Ann died in the hospital.
The impaired driver was sentenced to three years less a day in federal prison, despite a plea from the Crown attorney for stiffer sentencing. To the surprise of family, colleagues and friends, the impaired driver served just eight months of her three-year sentence.
Carol Ann’s mother, Gladys Grimmond, cousins Roger Grimmond and Emerson Williams, and best friend Eleanor Hendrickson joined representatives from MADD Canada, the Ministry of Transportation and regional and provincial police for the special tribute.
“Our family would like to thank MADD Canada, the Ministry of Transportation and Hwy. 407 for their efforts to place this roadside sign as a tribute to Carol Ann,” said her mother.
“One person’s terrible decision to drive impaired took her away and devastated our family. We hope this sign will serve as an awareness and education tool about the perils of impaired driving.
“We hope it makes people vow to never drive impaired.”
Impaired driving continues to be the leading criminal cause of death in Canada, killing between 1,250 and 1,500 people each year. Another 63,000 people are injured in impairment-related crashes each year.