As she remembered her brother, her best friend, Amy Kaufmann’s eyes filled with tears.
While it may be excruciating for her to recall that Tanner Kaufmann died after being hit by a drunk driver north of Regina in September 2016, she also finds it necessary to share her story of loss.
“The life that you think that you’re going to have as a family disappears very quickly,” Amy said, wearing MADD Canada’s red ribbon on the left side of her chest.
She was part of an event to help MADD mark 30 years for that ribbon which is a symbol to both remember innocent victims of drunk driving and to remind drivers not to get behind the wheel impaired.
“It is a choice and I think we have to be smarter with our choices,” said Kaufmann.
Colby Heid pleaded guilty to driving drunk and killing 37-year-old Tanner, who was out walking his dog on a gravel road north of the city last year. Heid was sentenced in June to three years in prison.
Amy hopes that by powering through the pain of what she has lost, she can inspire others to think twice before drinking and driving, especially during the holiday season.
“If they can remember my story before they get behind the wheel drunk I hope that that allows them to put the keys down and find a better way home.”
Along with the symbol reaching its 30th anniversary, the Project Red Ribbon awareness campaign runs this season from Nov. 1, 2017, to Jan. 8, 2018.
People are encouraged to wear the ribbon or put it on their vehicle.