Christine Rozon has lost her sister and best friend. "It was devastating news," says Rozon, whose sister Cindy Devine was killed Friday on Highbury Avenue in London, Ont.
"This is a very thin veil. I'm only holding it together for my sister and we are taking it hour by hour right now."
Devine, a 35-year-old mother from St. Thomas was heading into London to work at her family's cross-stitch business.
At 5:30 pm, a 23-year-old St. Thomas man allegedly crossed the centre line and hit her head on. The man has been charged with two impaired driving offences.
"That one choice affected thousands of people," says Rozon. "Our family, Richard's family, Richard's kids, friends and those poor individuals that tried to help get her out of the vehicle. Those are things they can't unsee."
Rozon is frustrated that someone would get behind the wheel after drinking. "Now his family is affected, he's 23 so I'm assuming he just getting out and starting life… I can't imagine what his parents are going through as well. When you get behind the wheel when you are drinking, you are driving a weapon."
That's the same messaging from MADD London. "Our slogan is no alcohol, no drugs, no victims," says Sara Neusteter with MADD London. Neusteter knows firsthand how drunk driving can change a life.
Six years ago her mother was killed by a drunk driver. "As soon as I read that story my heart broke. I can relate to that on a personal level. I feel her for husband, her children, her parents and her extended family. It's such a tragedy to lose your loved one in a preventable act."
Devine was artistic. She loved performing on stage in her band Last Highway. She was an excellent quilter at her family business. She enjoyed drawing pictures, and setting up a Halloween display at their home in St. Thomas.
"They loved the holiday so much they got married on Halloween," says Rozon. "It's so sad to think Richard doesn't get to celebrate his one-year anniversary with his wife."
The couple had four children and one grandchild. She had been working evenings so she could homeschool her children during the pandemic.
"Friday night, Richard hadn't told Dakota, her four-year-old son what happened. Dakota was still colouring pictures for his mommy when she got home from work. How do you tell a 4-year old your mommy is never coming home?"
As heartbroken as the family is, they also want to thank all of those who came rushing to her aid. Civilians who tried to get her out of the car before it went up in flames.
"It makes you appreciative of good people, and emergency personnel," says Rozon. "They have to see these kinds of horrors because someone decided to make a stupid mistake."
A GOFUNDME account has been set up for her husband Richard, who is now a single father of four.