A North York teen says he wants to raise awareness about drinking and driving after his father and sister were killed in an early morning crash by a suspected drunk driver.
Speaking outside the Toronto funeral home on Saturday where visitations were taking place for his loved ones, Brian Wijeratne said the tragedy is still too much to bear.
“It still hasn’t fully hit me but I’m doing the best that I can and I’ll continue to do the best that I can,” Wijeratne told CTV Toronto. “I want everyone to know this shouldn’t have happened. This is a total tragedy…This could have been prevented somehow.”
Brian was not in the car on Sunday when a suspected drunk driver travelling the wrong way on the eastbound QEW ramp onto Highway 427 north slammed head-on with his family’s minivan.
Jayantha Wijeratne, 49, his wife Antonette and their 16-year-old daughter Eleesha were returning from a vacation in Florida when the accident occurred.
Jayantha and Eleesha were pronounced dead on the scene and Antonette, 50, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. She is now in stable condition.
Visitations were held Friday and Saturday at Ward Funeral Home on Weston Road, north of Lawrence Avenue West. A funeral has yet to be scheduled.
The Wijeratne family immigrated to Canada in 2000 from Sri Lanka to escape civil war and to give the children better opportunities.
Brian, who is studying engineering at Ryerson University, said his father always told him and his sister to study hard and establish a good career.
“He took amazing care of our family and the only thing he wanted was for us to have a good future,” said Brian. “That’s the only reason I’m here in this country.”
Brian described his sister as the most amazing person he knew.
“She made my childhood fun,” he recalled. “She was going to be my best friend…and now she’s gone.”
The 19-year-old said he can’t comprehend the senseless death.
“If you drink and drive you have the potential to kill,” he said. “It’s attempted murder on every single person on that highway. It just happened to be my car.”
The 19-year-old driver of the SUV was rushed to hospital with serious injuries. Police arrested him for drunk driving at the scene.
Impaired driving charges are pending.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Ashley Rowe