By Charlene Tebbutt, for paNow
Just a few months after her passing, a little girl born out of a tragic impaired driving crash is the focus of a new SGI campaign against impaired driving.
The family of Aurora Brandi Sky Ledoux is still grieving the loss of the toddler who “kept us whole,” but they are channelling their sadness into a new awareness campaign aimed at preventing impaired driving in the future.
“It’s hard to face each and every day without her now because she kept our days full,” Aurora’s grandmother Josie Ledoux told paNOW. “She kept us busy. We looked forward to coming home and to being home. It just hasn’t been the same without her … there’s silence there.”
Aurora was born in July, 2013 via emergency C-section, minutes before her mother Brandi Lepine passed away following a drunk driving crash in Prince Albert that also took the life of Lepine’s friend Taylor Litwin. Born three months premature, little Aurora suffered severe disabilities and spent her entire life in and out of hospitals before passing away in February.
Leo Ledoux said the family wanted to participate in the campaign with SGI to let people know that impaired driving impacts families for the rest of their lives.
“When they go out, make sure they have somebody there to drive them, or they can take a cab,” Leo said. “Hopefully everybody will understand what effects it has on us.”
Minister Responsible for SGI and the MLA for Prince Albert Carlton Joe Hargrave, said the campaign focuses on the tragic real-life stories of local people across Saskatchewan.
“People around this province, they recognize those people. They understand and they know exactly what happened, and that’s what hits home to people. That’s what resonates in their mind,” Hargrave said.
Hargrave said the province is planning more education around impaired driving, including in schools, targeting younger kids, to drive home the idea that impaired driving is unacceptable. SGI also continues to support increased police enforcement against drunk driving, he added.
In the months since Aurora’s passing, Josie and Leo have been trying to keep busy. Josie recently got her driver’s licence and she said they have been visiting with family and friends as well.
“Now we have holes in our heart,” Josie said.