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Impaired driving victim finds closure in educating others

By: Heather Green-Oliver - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Dec 03, 2013 - 11:19 AM |
John Martin and his wife Debra took part in the offical launch of the Festive RIDE and Red Ribbon campaign on Dec. 2. Photo by Heather Green-Oliver.

John Martin and his wife Debra took part in the offical launch of the Festive RIDE and Red Ribbon campaign on Dec. 2. Photo by Heather Green-Oliver.

Festive RIDE in full force

Eleven years ago, at the corner of Main Street and Regional Road 80 in Val Caron, John Martin's vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. When Martin got out to confront the other driver he was swooped up onto the man's hood as he sped off down Main Street. Martin was forced to hang on to the hood for half a kilometre before the driver collided head on with another vehicle, pinning Martin between both of the vehicles.

"I was caught between the two and lost my leg and tore my shoulder off," Martin said.

The impaired driver was sentenced to three years in prison.

"I think the sentence was more than fair compared to what some other people get for taking a life," Martin said. "Like the bad case in the Valley."

Martin is referring to the tragic drunk driving incident in 2009 that took lives of three teens- Jazmine Houle, Caitlin Jelley and Steven Philippe on Highway 69 North. The driver, Nicholas Piovesan, pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal negligence causing death and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

"It's not fair in some cases for some people.

"His actions changed our whole life but I moved on."

This year, Martin joined Action Sudbury, the OPP and the Greater Sudbury Police Service in the official launch of the Festive RIDE on Dec. 2 handing out red ribbons and pamphlets to educate others not to drink and drive.

"It's like closure," Martin said. "I made it but sadly a lot of people didn't."

"I can't change what happened yesterday but I change what happens tomorrow."
Heather Green-Oliver

Heather Green-Oliver

Staff Writer

@HGreenOliver

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