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Manitoba's First Roadside Memorial Sign Honouring Victim Of Impaired Driving To Be Unveiled Today

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WEST ST. PAUL, Manitoba, Aug. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Together with the family of Brett Yasinsky, and with the support of the Province of Manitoba and the Rural Municipality of West St. Paul, MADD Canada is unveiling the province's first roadside memorial sign to honour victims of impaired driving today.

Brett was on his way to pick up his girlfriend on November 10, 2010. The couple had planned to go to a movie. But Brett never made it there. The 22-year-old's car was hit by an impaired driver just minutes from his home. He died at the scene.

The memorial sign will be located at the crash site, at the southwest corner of McPhillips Street (Highway 8) and Grassmere Rd. It will include Brett's name and MADD Canada's iconic red ribbon image, to honour his memory and to serve as a powerful symbol of the tragic impact of impaired driving.

"This memorial highway sign is an important reminder to everyone that impaired driving kills," said Brett's uncle, Wayne Bodnarchuk. "When someone you love is killed in this senseless manner, a piece of you and, in fact, your entire community dies with them."

Joining Brett's family for the sign unveiling in West St. Paul today are: Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul MaryAnn Mihychuk; Ron Schuler, Minister of Infrastructure and MLA for St. Paul; David Wright, Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General; West St. Paul Mayor Bruce Henley; Inspector Al Hofland, Officer in Charge, RCMP Selkirk Detachment; Ward Keith, Manitoba Public Insurance Vice President of Business Development & Communications; and representatives from MADD Canada.

Brett's aunt, Melody Bodnarchuk, said the sign symbolizes the tremendous loss her family continues to endure, but also reminds her of the support they received when they needed it most.

"When an impaired driver killed Brett, our world fell apart," she said. "MADD Canada has been with us, since day one, to help pick up the pieces. This MADD Canada roadside marker in tribute to Brett not only memorializes him forever, but also reminds us of the support that is there for us day or night going forward. They understand that this pain never goes away."

Mrs. and Mr. Bodnarchuk have both been very involved in the anti-impaired driving movement in the years since Brett's death and led the MADD Winnipeg Chapter for several years.

MADD Canada thanks Brett's family for their courage and the Government of Manitoba and the Rural Municipality of West St. Paul for their leadership in establishing a roadside memorial for victims of impaired driving.

"Brett was a young man with a bright future ahead of him. But it was all taken away in an instant because someone made a decision to drive impaired," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. "This roadside memorial sign is a way to pay tribute to an innocent life lost, and also a powerful symbol about the devastating and permanent consequences of impaired driving. We hope it motivates people to make safe, responsible decisions and never drive impaired."

MADD Canada has collaborated with governments in other provinces, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, to install memorial signs for victims of impaired driving.

About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.

For more information: 
Gillian Phillips, MADD Canada Victim Services Manager, at 1-866-461-4077 or gphillips@madd.ca 

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