Drunk driving suspected in 2 fatal Calgary crashes: the message isn't getting to everyone!

by Jill Croteau

Flowers mark the place along Calgary's McKnight Boulevard on Monday where a young, promising life was cut short.

Meghan Bomford, 17, didn't survive a crash that has left her best friend, Kelsey Nelson, fighting for her life. Meghan's father, Shaun Bomford, is also barely alive. Police suspect he was impaired.

Days later, another teen was killed along Metis Trail and Country Hills Boulevard. The 19 yr old was a passenger in a vehicle with his parents and sister as they were heading home from a movie early Sunday morning. His mom and dad were critically injured. The driver who hit them ran a red light and was believed to be impaired.

Charges have not yet been laid in either incident.

"These recent collisions are proof the message isn't getting to everyone," Calgary Police Sgt. Dave DenTandt said Monday.

The tragedies are an overwhelming reminder to families who've been there. Grace Pesa lost her son, Francis, in a drunk driving crash in January 2014.

"It's a flashback to where we were," she said. "People say, 'I can't imagine.' I don't have to say it, I know. I've been there."

"I'm still feeling pain and sorrow and missing my Francis."

Pesa hopes the loss of her son compels drunk drivers to stop getting behind the wheel.

"The impact you or the driver will leave behind is just beyond words."

Calgary police are also frustrated as evidence continues to mount. They say the message isn't resonating with drivers.

"The police can only be so many places, we can only do checkstops one spot at a time," DenTandt said. "People have to take responsibility on themselves to make the right choice to not drink and drive."

Advocates are fighting for mandatory minimum sentences as a deterrent for impaired drivers.

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