“I’ll be right behind you and I’ll see you at home.” Those were the last words Anthony ‘Tony’ McColl spoke to his sister Alanna on April 16, 2011. He never made it home.
As a sober designated driver that night, Tony had just arrived to pick up his sister and some friends from a party in Pontiac, Quebec. With no room left in his car, Tony gave Alanna cab fare so she could get a ride home ahead of him with the rest of her friends. Along the way, a car speeding in the opposite direction crossed the highway centre line and struck Tony’s car head-on. His four passengers suffered serious injuries, while Tony and the driver of the other car were both killed.
The police had been in pursuit of the speeding vehicle before it crashed. The police suspected that the driver was impaired by alcohol.
Tony, 19, had been studying visual arts at his cégep in Gatineau, Quebec. He was also a musician and avid rugby player. His family and friends will always remember him as a kind and compassionate person who was well rounded, with a promising future.
Shortly after receiving the tragic news of the crash, Tony’s friends created a Facebook campaign and his family established a memory fund in his honour called “The Tony’s Promise Fund” to promote programs against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The “Tony’s Promise” Facebook campaign challenges people everywhere to make a simple promise: “I promise to never get behind the wheel or let a friend get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The campaign emphasizes to young people and adults that they do have a choice. They can make potentially life-saving decisions when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.For more information, visit www.tonyspromise.org.
The decision to drink and drive or not is a personal one. Every driver needs to consider his or her behavior and how to best protect themselves, their family and friends and other road users who depend on them to make a safe decision.
Here are a few ways teenagers - and their parents - can reduce the risks related to impaired driving.
TIPS FOR TEENAGERS
TIPS FOR PARENTS