Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Sobering stories on drinking and driving

  • Print

Yet another young life has been snuffed out in a suspected case of deadly drunk driving.

Andrea Bannish, 28, died early Thursday morning in Selkirk, Manitoba, just a few blocks from her home and only weeks after she got married. A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged after allegedly running a stop sign and slamming into Bannish’s vehicle.

Related Items

Her death – the 5th in Manitoba since Halloween as a result of impaired driving – is as tragic and senseless as they come.

And like all the others, it was entirely preventable.

Sadly, history tells us it’s only a matter of time before we’re talking about the next tragedy. And the next. And the next.

With the holiday season fast approaching – a time of year when people are in a celebratory mood as their schedules are filled with office parties and family celebrations - I wanted to share with you what I consider to be the most powerful message I’ve ever heard on the subject.

I WANT YOU TO MEET ERIC.

About 10 years ago, Eric called in to a national radio show hosted by Peter Warren, who is well known to Winnipeggers as the former morning show staple on CJOB. Peter has since retired – allowing my "Crime and Punishment" program to take up a national spot - but passed this particular piece of audio on to me with a simple request to play it across the airwaves every year, around this time.

Eric has a confession to make: He had killed a little boy on Christmas Eve while driving home, drunk, from a party.

As you will hear in the seven-minute clip, Eric was clearly tortured over what he’d done.

So tortured, in fact, that Peter tells me he learned a few years after this call that Eric had taken his own life, apparently unable to cope with the guilt.

But this clip isn’t about Eric, and it’s certainly not about feeling sorry for him.

It’s about putting a human face and voice to an issue that, despite all of the efforts to get people to change their habits, continues to be an epidemic across Canada.

As Peter said towards the end of this truly memorable call, he believes Eric’s message will help save a life.

I truly hope it does, which is why I wanted to share it with you. And invite you to do the same by passing this on to others.

And please folks, don’t drink and drive.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

We are not accepting comments on this story for legal reasons.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Stuary Murray announces musical RightsFest for CMHR opening weekend

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 110621 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 -  Doug Chorney, president Keystone Agricultural Producers flight over South Western Manitoba to check on the condition of farming fields. MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
my2011poy
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google