By Letter to the Editor on December 26, 2019.
On Dec. 24, 2018 our family tragically lost our sister, Lucinda Yaworski, and brother-in-law George Balint, who died as pedestrians in a Calgary crosswalk after being hit by a careless driver.
After months of legal uncertainty, the driver pled guilty and received a disappointing light sentence of a 90-day driving ban and a $2,000 fine under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act. We are not alone in our deep loss, sharing grief with other families who have lost loved ones in traffic fatalities and experience frustration with the legal system.
We share sadness with family and friends of:
– The Edmonton grandmother who died as a pedestrian while walking her granddaughter to school. https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/abpc/doc/2012/2012abpc280/2012abpc280.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAcZ3JhbmRtb3RoZXIgcGVkZXN0cmlhbiBkZWF0aAAAAAAB&resultIndex=3
– The Lethbridge woman who lost her best friend as they were cycling. Both were hit by a truck, tragically killing her friend. https://globalnews.ca/video/3533768/life-is-cheap-trudi-mason-recounts-harrowing-story-of-losing-her-friend-to-a-pickup-truck
– The Edmonton couple who lost their 27-year-old son in a marked crosswalk when a left-turning vehicle fatally struck him. https://globalnews.ca/news/3478331/driver-who-hit-and-killed-david-finkelman-got-2k-fine-parents-say-its-not-enough/
The statistics are disturbing. “On average, more than 40 pedestrians are killed and over 1,250 are injured each year in Alberta.” https://www.strathcona.ca/transportation-roads/traffic/traffic-safety/help-keep-pedestrians-safe/
Holidays, and birthdays – a time of joyful celebration – are particularly difficult for grieving families. The loss becomes painfully evident and the empty space looms large in our hearts. Families and friends are robbed of the company and future contributions of their loved ones.
A family must get justice before they can experience resolution and closure. We’ve decided to turn our grief into advocating for fairer justice by petitioning the Ministry of Transportation to amend the Traffic Safety Act seeking tougher penalties. If you, too, feel this injustice, write your local MLA requesting stricter laws against motorists causing injury or death.
Bev Yaworski and Judy York