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MADD presents St. Paul Traffic Services with signs honouring young lives lost

Michael Knox was just 16 years old when he was killed in a collision with an impaired driver on Oct. 2, 1999, just a few short miles from home. His image is being used to remind motorists of the devastating effects of impaired driving.

LAKELAND - Michael Knox was just 16 years old when he was killed in a collision with an impaired driver on Oct. 2, 1999, just a few short miles from home. Certainly not forgotten by family members and friends who live in the St. Paul area, Knox's picture is being used as a stark reminder of the devastating effects of impaired driving.

On Jan. 31, Dianne Belanger, Community Leader MADD St. Paul & Area, and also aunt to Knox, presented representatives at the St. Paul RCMP detachment with two signs that will be displayed during check stops in the Lakeland.

One sign has Knox's image and the other has the image of 16-year-old Keisha Chantel Trudel from Fort Smith, NWT. She was killed by an impaired driver on Nov. 23, 2008.

The signs were purchased with funds raised at sobriety check stops through a voluntary donation area, which was held by RCMP members of the St. Paul Detachment and the St. Paul Traffic Services, along with contributions by the public through the red ribbon campaign.

"Speaking as a victim of impaired driving, as Michael Knox was my nephew, I hope that his and Keisha’s images flash through the minds of individuals who choose to warn their friends and others about the check stop locations so they may avoid them," says Belanger. "You might be saving them a few minutes, or potentially from impaired driving sanctions, but the cost may be theirs or someone else’s life."

She hopes the sign act as a way to remind motorists about why the check stops are important, "and that a few minutes of their time is not a waste if it prevents even one more tragedy."

"The support of the RCMP and the public is crucial to putting an end to impaired driving," adds Belanger.

Michael Knox

According to information from MADD Canada, the night Knox was killed, he "was driving home early after being the designated driver, ensuring that his friends made it home safe. Mike did not. He never came home again. The impaired driver that took our son had a [Blood Alcohol Content] of three-and-a-half times the legal limit. Mike was just three short miles from home on Highway 28 when the impaired driver crossed into his lane. Mike had no time to react and paid the ultimate price for someone else’s ignorance. The impaired driver was also killed that night."

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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