‘I thought we were all going to die’: VPD officer recounts words of child inside vehicle of impaired driver

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s another distressing reminder of the impacts of driving while impaired.

The prompt comes from the story of a woman driving a mangled vehicle, with an eight-year-old passenger inside.

According to Vancouver Police Patrol Sergeant Sandra Glendinning, who took to Twitter over the weekend, an impaired driver passed her on the road with one tire dragging sideways.

In her post, Glendinning says she pulled the woman over and walked up to the vehicle.

“Before I can say anything, the 8-yr-old passenger starts yelling. ‘THANK GOD YOU PULLED US OVER! I THOUGHT WE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!'” she writes.

The online reaction is one of shock, with some pointing out the eight-year-old seems to have been the only adult in the vehicle.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. That poor child,” writes one Twitter user, another also expressing gratitude, typing “Omg so young thank god you were able to stop them so sad.”

At least one person is reminded of the King James Bible quote: “Out of the mouth of babes.”

The post comes just days after a suspected drunk driver hit an 18-year-old and then a 12-year-old in Langley. These cases do not appear to be related to the incident Glendinning is describing.

MADD Canada calls for B.C. to implement child endangerment laws

While B.C.’s Ministry of Child and Family Development has been notified in this case, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada CEO Andrew Murie notes other provinces — namely Manitoba and Nova Scotia — have laws in place which stiffen the penalties for impaired drivers caught with passengers under the age of 16.

“Usually children don’t have a lot of control in those type of situations and the parent is, in some ways, causing some kind of abuse to that child in potential death and injury,” he says.

“Why are these people that put vulnerable people at risk treated the same way? They should be punished more, and they should be required to do some educational things around parenting.”

Murie adds the messages MADD Canada has been disseminating for 30 years are often better received by children than adults. The organization focuses on kids in grades four through six.

“We encourage them where ever possible in these type of situations, if they have a cell phone, to call 9-1-1 and report their parents for their own safety.”

According to MADD Canada, up to four Canadians are killed every day in alcohol or drug-related crashes on public roads.

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