There's no doubt that losing a loved one to a drunk driver is devastating.
A new ad campaign from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) is remembering those lost to a preventable tragedy by putting their names and faces forward.
The group's 2017 "Impaired driving impacts everything" ad features the faces of 12 Saskatchewanians whose lives were cut short by impaired driving. (Watch the video above.)
Using personal photos, provided by family and friends of the victims, the ad shows each person enjoying a happy moment in their life, before erasing them from the photo.
Jordan and Chanda Van de Vorst and their children Kamryn and Miguire were killed by a drunk driver on Jan. 3, 2016. (Photo: SGI)
Tyler McMurchy, SGI's media relations manager, says the powerful campaign has touched many hearts since it began airing on television and social media last month.
"Saskatchewan is small enough that so many people in our province seeing it will know someone in the video," he explained, adding the people featured in the video lived in cities and town all over the province.
Over the last decade, more than 600 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured in impaired driving collisions in Saskatchewan.
SGI ran a similar campaign in 2016, but used stock photos. McMurchy said they decided to ask the families of real victims to participate in 2017, in the hope of reaching more people with their message.
"When we talked to these families, they kept making one point: they wanted something good to come out of something so terrible."
Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for SGI, said drunk drivers have ruined too many lives with their decision to drive impaired.
“I want to thank the families who came forward and agreed to share their stories,” Hargrave said in a statement.
“Their goal – our goal – is that this campaign prevents others from experiencing the pain of losing a loved one because of someone’s decision to drive impaired.
The 12 people featured in SGI's ad are:
- Quinn Stevenson,17, from Saskatoon
- Brandy Lepine, 17, from Prince Albert
- Danille Kerpan, 25, from Kenaston
- Tanner Kaufmann, 37, from Regina
- Ben Darchuk, 53, from Prince Albert
- Adrienne Gardiner, 28, from Ile-a-la-Crosse
- Sarah Wensley, 17, from Saskatoon
- Van de Vorst family, from Saskatoon
- James Paul (JP) Haughey, 17, from Saskatoon
To read more about their stories, visit SGI's website. The province-wide campaign will appear on radio ads, billboards, commercials and online from May 14 to June 16.