Death prompts Sask. & N.B. to look at reckless drivers
Speeding in construction zones worries officials
The death of a young New Brunswick woman by an apparent reckless driver on a Saskatchewan highway has prompted officials in both provinces to look at construction zone speeding.
Ashley Dawn Richards, 18, was killed while working with a road crew near Weyburn, Sask. on Aug. 24.
"People drive like that all the time, but I don't understand why they do that," says Marianne Bryson, biological grandmother of Richards.
"Where are they going to get? They're not going to get anywhere any faster. And, I mean, now this man has to live with what he's done, that he has killed a young girl. Because of what? Stupidness."
When Richards and and her fiance Ben Diprose moved to Saskatchewan, she found work as a flag person on one of the province's highways.
Richards was pregnant, and only 45 minutes into her first day on the job when she was killed by a sport utility vehicle driver who allegedly ignored signs, sped through the construction zone and slammed into her.
The incident has prompted Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to look at cracking down in his own province.
"There are times when we, as drivers, make really, really stupid decisions. And I don't know if there's a sign or a course, that can prevent people that are in a dangerous zone from that," Wall said.
Photo radar and stiffer penalties are some of the possibilities, Wall said.
The driver of the SUV was a 44-year-old man. He was arrested at the scene and taken into custody and released on Saturday.
Police said charges are still pending.
Today, RCMP released figures for speeding tickets in road construction zones in New Brunswick this year.
So far, 75 tickets have been issued and according to the Department of Transportation, about one quarter of drivers have admitted to speeding through construction zones.
Bryson said the paperwork and financial details are being finalized by Richards’ adoptive mother to bring her body home to New Brunswick for burial.