The family and friends of a Quebec teen killed while acting as a designated driver three months ago hopes an anti-drunk driving campaign launched in his name will let his good example live on.
Tony McColl, of Aylmer, was sober and opted to drive his friends home from a party the night of April 16, when his car was struck head-on by a suspected drunk driver speeding near Luskville, 40 kilometres north of Ottawa. The 19-year-old was killed in the crash, as was the other driver, 20-year-old Brandon Crawford of Shawville, Que.
More than 7,000 teenagers around Ottawa and the world have now pledged on a public webpage never to let a friend drink and drive to prevent similar tragedies from happening.
While Tony did the right thing and acted responsibly, his parents said they hold no blame to Crawford, who police believe had been drinking and driving erratically.
Aim to reach 1 million pledges
Following a funeral and memorial services, friends started a Facebook group called Tony's Promise, imploring people to join and promise "never to let a friend drink and drive."
Dave McColl, Tony's father, was moved by the gesture and the realization that his son had a big impact on his friends.
"It's certainly a problem — driving under the influence," he said.
Tony's friends posted a video of him on YouTube and are selling wrist bands and keychains, with the aim to eventually reach a million pledges.
Richard Beard, a co-founder of the campaign, said the memory of his friend would hopefully inspire others to do the right thing when the time comes to make decisions about driving home after drinking.
"You see the promise on the key chain. You see it, and for a split second, you think, 'I shouldn't start the car, and get out,'" Beard said. "It's a good way to constantly remind people."