Sask. drunk driving victim appearing on 40 'moving billboards'

Danille Kerpan died in a car crash on Highway 11 near Bladworth, Sask. On Wednesday, her parents helped unveil a new campaign against drunk driving that features her as the face of the powerful message.

25-year-old killed in crash shown as reminder to report drunk drivers

Danille Kerpan was killed in an impaired driving crash in Saskatchewan on October 10, 2014. (CBC News)

Two and a half years ago, former Saskatchewan MLA and MP Allan Kerpan received the devastating news that his 25-year-old daughter, Danille Kerpan, had died in a car crash on Highway 11 near Bladworth, Sask.

The crash was caused by a drunk driver.

On Wednesday, Kerpan and his wife, Melanie, helped unveil a new campaign against drunk driving that features his daughter as the face of the powerful message.

Allan Kerpan said his daughter was a humble girl, whose goal was to help at least one person along the way. (CBC News)

RTL-Westcan Group of Companies and MADD Canada have launched the new awareness initiative to get impaired drivers off the road, in hopes of preventing injury and death.

Danille Kerpan's photo and a message telling people to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911 will be featured on RTL-Westcan's truck trailers, popping up in front of thousands of drivers every day in Saskatchewan.

"It's almost like a moving billboard," Allan Kerpan said. "We have to keep reminding people in this province, it seems, that drunk driving is not acceptable."

Melanie and Allan Kerpan helped reveal the campaign in Saskatoon on Wednesday. (CBC News)

Busting drunk drivers using 911

According to Kerpan, a minimum of 16 people called 911 on the night that Danille was killed to report the driver at fault, who police said was going the wrong way on the highway for at least 50 kilometres.

"So terribly, in our case, there were no police officers anywhere near close enough to apprehend the fellow. But the 911 part of it certainly is effective," Kerpan said.

"We know our record in Saskatchewan is not good. I mean, it's the worst in Canada by quite a bit. So, I'm hoping we can chip away at some of those numbers simply by more education."

Danille Kerpan's photo will appear on 40 trucks in the province. (CBC News)

Kerpan said seeing the campaign brought back the devastation of Danille's death but also made him proud.

"She was a pretty humble young person who just wanted to change the lives of at least one person," he said. "By MADD Canada and Westcan entering this campaign, they've really given her a platform to help way more than one person, in fact, save some lives.

"This comes from a father's perspective, but she's incredibly beautiful and still is to me."

Kerpan's photo will appear with the message to call 911 if you suspect someone of driving drunk. (CBC News)

'People are just not getting it'

Kerpan said that putting an end to drinking and driving in Saskatchewan is just a pipe dream but said he hopes to see the number of injuries and deaths due to impaired driving decrease.

MADD Canada president Patricia Hynes-Coates said Saskatchewan isn't alone in this problem.

"People are just not getting it. They're thinking that they're immune," she said. "Well I'm here, living proof, to tell you that it will happen. It will happen and it's time for each one of us to be accountable for what we're doing."

Hynes-Coates lost her stepson in an impaired driving crash in 2013.

By launching the campaign, she said she hopes to see more people reporting drunk drivers on the road and stopping family and friends from getting behind the wheel while impaired.

Patricia Hynes-Coates, MADD Canada's president, lost her stepson in an impaired driving crash in 2013. (CBC News)

"Seeing this beautiful girl's face is very impactful. If I was driving down the road and I saw this child, someone's loved one, on a moving billboard, it would make me stop and think," she said. "Not only as a victim, but as a mother. I would stop and think: she didn't deserve to lose her life."

The campaign featuring Danille's photo will appear on the back of 40 trucks in Saskatchewan.

With files from Saskatoon Morning