It was Thanksgiving weekend last year when Allan Kerpan got the most devastating news of his life. While the holidays are usually a time to celebrate with family, it’s become a sad anniversary for the father from Kenaston, Sask.
On Oct. 10, 2014,
Kerpan was told his 25-year-old daughter Danille had died in a car crash on Highway 11. It was caused by a drunk driver.
“This week’s been, I guess, particularly a little harder for all of us because tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary that we lost Nille,” he said.
Over the past year, Kerpan has been on a mission to alter how people think about drunk driving. He said it starts with giving the facts, like how most drunk-driving deaths happen on the Fridays of long weekends.
Saskatchewan also has the highest rate of drunk-driving deaths in the country–three times the national average, he said. Kerpan points out that on average, impaired drivers kill about 100 people a year on Saskatchewan roads.
“It’s incredible to me that we live in a province that’s maybe the best place in Canada, or even the world, to live in, and yet this starts to become routine,” he said. “Part of that is that there’s that old boy’s mentality, in rural Saskatchewan at least, where it seems very acceptable to go on a booze cruise,” he said.
That’s a mentality Kerpan wants to change. He said it’s the least he can do in memory of Danille.
“I tell people now make sure you hug or kiss your loved ones an extra time before they head out on the road because you just never know.”
”I tell people now make sure you hug or kiss your loved ones an extra time before they head out on the road because you just never know.”