Sudbury's DJ Hancock the face of national MADD Canada campaign
The late DJ Hancock is the face of a new national campaign from MADD Canada.
It's been more than two years since the 18 year old Sudbury man died after his car was struck by an impaired driver on Highway 17, near Lively, Ontario.
The story is well-known around northern Ontario, but MADD Canada felt it was a powerful enough message that others across the country need to hear it.
Powerful enough message
MADD Canada President Patricia Hynes-Coates says they approached Hancock's family for permission to use his picture and story for their national holiday awareness campaign.
"They're brave enough to come forward and tell DJ's story as a way to honour him, but also to help prevent other families from having to lose their loved ones to such a senseless crime," says Hynes-Coates.
The campaign kicks off Tuesday at the annual Big Nickel Hockey Tournament, which is set to start this weekend in Sudbury.
Hancock was a hockey player, who had played in the AAA tournament several times in the past.
"When they said that DJ's picture would be on all of their programs, booklets, whatever they're putting out. I thought it was a great opportunity to get that message out to the rest of the world," says Barry McCrory co-chair of the four-day provincial tournament.
Kim Hancock, DJ's mother, says telling her son's story helps keep his memory alive.
Keep his memory alive
She says she hopes it can prevent others from going through a similar tragedy. "If we can save one other family from going through what we've been through and possibly save one person's life, then it's all worth it."
The MADD Canada campaign encourages everyone to use red ribbons over the holiday season as a reminder to find a safe way home after drinking.
"We all say 'It can't happen to me, it happens to the neighbours.'... you got to remember it can happen to you," says Kim Hancock.
With files from Angela Gemmill