BC dad warns Manitoba teens about dangers behind wheel with story of son's death
MPI's speaker series features heartbreaking stories of loss due to dangerous, impaired driving
Greg Drew got the call in the middle of the night back on May 11, 2003.
His 17-year-old son had been in a serious traffic accident in Fort Langley, B.C., a month before he was supposed to graduate from high school.
Jason Drew or 'Jay' had been street racing on a road he wasn't familiar with when he lost control of his car.
He was pinned in the car waiting for fire crews to extricate him when his father, a veteran firefighter in a neighbouring community, rushed to scene to be with his son.
"This was his third crash in the last two weeks of his life and I wasn't too happy with him when I stood here in the ditch right here next to him," Greg Drew said. "I should have told him I loved him but I didn't."
It's scenes like this that Manitoba Public Insurance hopes will resonate with youth.
MPI says that from 2008 to 2012, impaired and dangerous driving killed an average of 29 people each year on Manitoba roads.
"That's one death every 12 days, all because someone, somewhere, made the decision to get behind the wheel of a car while impaired," said Mary Ann Kempe, a vice-president with MPI.
That's why MPI has brought back its speaker series 'Friends For Life' to tour Manitoba schools.
Speakers will share personal accounts of avoidable tragedies in an attempt to connect with thousands of youth at more than 50 schools.
Drew is one of three speakers involved in the series and will speak to at least 16 schools while touring the province.
It was a moment that forever changed his life and he's hoping the power of his presentation will help save lives.
"Kids are the same everywhere. It doesn't matter where you live, small town, big town. It's the same. Kids are doing the same stupid stuff, thinking there isn't going to be a consequence for their actions. But unfortunately that consequence is huge sometimes and it's life changing or life ending sometimes."
"I'm doing this to leave a legacy in my son's memory. Jay was a good kid. He learned his lesson the hard way."
CBC video journalist Brett Purdy put together this video of MPI's presentation at Miles Macdonell Collegiate Wednesday.