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'He would have been a fabulous grandfather': Toronto campaign honours victims of impaired driving


Thirty years have passed since Paul Stephens, 56, was killed in an alcohol-related crash, but the pain of his death does not end for his widow, Marlene Stephens.

“It’s just ongoing in terms of realizing what Paul has missed,” she told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday.

Stephens said she was asleep at home in 1992 when her husband was struck on the highway. Police showed up at the door with the traumatic news.

“I have two grandchildren and they live close by and he loved kids, and he would have been a fabulous grandfather.”

Stephens’ remarks mark the launch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) 36th annual Red Ribbon campaign in Toronto.

The organization’s Toronto Chapter and the Toronto Transit Commission have joined forces to prevent drug and alcohol-related crashes this holiday season with a campaign honouring victims.

The project features posters of 11 victims on 27 TTC buses travelling across the city.

“This didn’t have to happen. It wasn’t an accident,” said an emotional Bob Carreau at the launch event Tuesday. His son Robert Carreau Jr. is featured in the campaign. He was killed in 2020, out on a morning run in Muskoka.

Robert Carreau Jr. was killed by a drunk driver in 2020. His father, Robert Carreau Sr. spoke about his death at the launch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) 36th annual Red Ribbon campaign in Toronto.

“That reckless, irresponsible decision took the life of this innocent and beautiful man,” said Carreau.

By sharing his story and the stories of other victims, the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and prevent further impaired crashes.

This holiday season, people are being encouraged to plan ahead, take transit and drive sober.

“It still remains a deadly problem. As of October 23, the Toronto Police Service has received more than 6,000 calls for service for impaired driving which represents a five per cent increase over 2022,” said Acting Staff Supt. Kelly Skinner.

In a news release, Mayor Olivia Chow said there's "no excuse" for impaired driving.

“This campaign reminds us all to drive sober, nominate a sober driver, or, better yet, take the TTC, because the holidays should be memorable for all the right reasons,” she said.

Anyone who sees a suspected impaired driver is urged to call 911.

Ontario Provincial Police said in Ontario this year 39 people have been killed in drug and alcohol-related crashes. In the past five years, 303 have been killed. Top Stories

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