With a new job, flourishing relationship and plenty of personal goals, Jordyn Reimer was in a "happy place" when she returned to Winnipeg to visit family three weeks ago.
She was doing an exceptional act when her life was cut short as an alleged impaired driver in a pickup truck crashed into her vehicle at about 2:20 a.m. May 1.
Serving as a designated driver, Reimer, 24, was on her way to pick up a group of loved ones in Transcona to ensure they got home safely, devastated parents Doug and Karen Reimer told the Free Press.
"When she didn’t show, they knew something was horribly wrong because she wasn’t answering her phone," said Karen. "We raised (our daughters) and taught them you don’t drink and drive. You don’t want to be on either side of that nightmare."
When Reimer and her sisters became old enough, envelopes containing money for cab fare were set aside, in case they had to take a taxi home during a night out.
"We did the maximum a family can do, and here we are," said Karen.
The pair shared memories of Reimer, a Transcona Collegiate graduate, and talked about loss after the accused, who allegedly fled the scene of the collision, was granted bail.
They said they don’t want their daughter, the second-youngest of four girls, to be forgotten or to become a statistic.
In an interview Wednesday, they remembered her for her kind, loving and caring nature, and her loyalty.
"She did not have an enemy. She was just so kind and caring about everybody," said Doug.
“She did not have an enemy. She was just so kind and caring about everybody.” – Doug Reimer, father
"We want everyone to know the world is a sadder place without her," Karen said through tears, as her daughter’s dog, Sadie, was quietly curled up next to her on a couch.
Two beloved items Reimer had kept since childhood — a small "blankie" and a stuffed toy leopard — were on a chair nearby. A collection of framed family photos and collages showing a smiling Reimer were featured in the dining area.
Surrounded by mementos and memories, the parents are trying to cope, as they struggle to process what happened to their daughter and what the future holds for them.
"It’s a day-to-day kind of thing," said Doug. "It’s hard to try to make sense of something so senseless. We struggle with that and struggle with the fact there’s nothing that can be done to ever bring her back. There will be no justice."
"It’s a life sentence for us and our family," Karen added.
The couple are reduced to tears when they think about future birthdays, Christmases and milestones.
“It’s hard to try to make sense of something so senseless. We struggle with that and struggle with the fact there’s nothing that can be done to ever bring her back. There will be no justice.” – Doug Reimer, father
"Our daughters’ joys will be tainted by sadness. Our girls, they are broken," said Karen. "Jordyn was very family-oriented. She wanted to have a family. She wanted to be a mother."
Reimer had a boyfriend, who told her parents he had found "the one," said her father.
She was working for Manitoba Public Insurance in Brandon, and regularly made the 2 1/2-hour drive home for weekends.
All winter, her parents worried about driving through ice and snow on the Trans-Canada Highway. Her mother struggles with the fact Reimer was killed in a residential area, where there are stop signs and the speed limit is 50 km/h.
The crash happened at Kildare Avenue West and Bond Street in the part of Winnipeg where Reimer grew up.
She later attended MacEwan University in Edmonton, helping its women’s hockey team to three consecutive Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships (2017-19).
She and her sister, Nikki, were teammates for three seasons before Reimer graduated with a bachelor of arts in 2021.
At the start of games, she would lead her team onto the ice and yell, "Let’s start a riot," to get everyone amped up. In the wake of her death, it’s become the family’s catchphrase, her parents said.
Three weeks after the crash, Doug and Karen are at a loss, as they ponder what-if scenarios. An outpouring of support from family, friends and strangers has brought comfort.
"It keeps the faith that there is humanity out there," said Doug.
Reimer’s childhood teachers, former hockey coaches and teammates from Alberta and Manitoba, and co-workers from Brandon were among those at a May 7 funeral service.
A slideshow concluded with a video showing Reimer being the designated driver. The clip ends with her and one of her sisters saying, "I love you," to each other.
For her family, the turnout reflected the impact she had on people and the connections she made.
A GoFundMe page set up by a friend to cover the cost of a funeral raised more than $73,000 within days.
As they continue to grieve, the family is now forced to navigate the legal system, which already has been frustrating and deflating.
The Reimers were disappointed a judge granted bail to Tyler Scott Goodman, 28, at a hearing in Winnipeg on May 13.
"Just the idea that he gets to go out to a restaurant and go on with life, and our baby is never walking through the door again. It’s not fair," said Karen.
“Just the idea that he gets to go out to a restaurant and go on with life, and our baby is never walking through the door again. It’s not fair.” – Karen Reimer, mother
The Reimers said they lack confidence in Canada’s impaired driving laws and penalties, pointing to a recent sentencing in suburban Toronto. A 21-year-old man who struck and killed a mother and her three young daughters after consuming cannabis was given 17 years. The maximum is life in prison.
Goodman is charged with dangerous driving causing death, driving causing death while impaired, and failing to remain at the scene.
Winnipeg police allege the truck’s driver and occupants fled after the crash.
The judge ordered Goodman to abide by several conditions as part of his $5,000 bail. Details of the hearing are subject to a publication ban.
Goodman must live with his grandparents and follow a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
He is barred from sitting in the driver’s seat of any vehicle. He was also ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol, stay out of licensed premises and undergo an Addictions Foundation of Manitoba assessment.
Goodman's lawyer, Mat Schwartz, declined to comment.
— with files from Dean Pritchard
As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.