Road crash victims remembered

People killed in road crashes were honoured at a small ceremony on the TransCanada Highway just outside St. John's.
Families who lost loved ones in road accidents gathered to remember them on Wednesday. (CBC)

This Wednesday marked a remembrance day of a different kind — not for soldiers, but for road crash victims.

Chrystal Hartery, 12, was killed when she was hit by a truck nine years ago. CBC

In this province, a small ceremony took place at the weigh scales on the TransCanada Highway just outside St. John's.

Attending were about half a dozen families whose lives were changed forever by a road accident.

Caroline Hartery of Portugal Cove South remembers receiving the devastating news nine years ago that she had lost her 12-year-old daughter Chrystal.

"Her and her friends were in their way back from swimming, and she was struck by a truck," Hartery recounted.

"That was the end of our life that day."

Minister of Service Nick McGrath laid the first wreath at the ceremony on behalf of the government, followed by the families and a representative for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Wreaths were laid along the TransCanada Highway on Wednesday in remembrance of victims of road accidents. CBC

Afterwards, McGrath mingled and listened to the stories.

"I heard talks of equipment. I heard talks of moose. I heard talks of impaired driving," the minister said.

"There's a broad, broad range here that we need to be very aware of."

Fortunately, the news isn't all bad. Highway deaths have been dropping steadily in the last 30 years, and Newfoundland and Labrador continues to have one of the lowest highway death rates in the country.