ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Wayzata police officer killed by an alleged impaired driver was laid to rest this week. And Saturday, people from across the state came together to take a stand against impaired driving.
The Walk Like MADD event took place in St. Paul Saturday. It brought together victims and survivors of drunk drivers.
One by one, they read a name. A name of someone no longer here because of a drunk driver.
Hundreds came out to Como Park in St. Paul to walk and raise money for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“It’s not just the person that you may have hit, it’s their entire family,” Matt Cardinal said.
Cardinal lost his wife in January in an accident caused by an alleged drunk driver. He’s doing the walk for the first time with their three children.
“Any kind of impairment or distraction for that means is a terrible time to get behind the wheel,” he said.
It’s an issue that’s been in the headlines a lot this week. The driver that hit and killed Wayzata Police Officer William Mathews faces charges after police say she was on drugs and using her phone before the accident.
Before the start of the walk, a moment of silence was given for Officer Mathews.
“And I know our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Art Morrow, executive director of MADD Minnesota said.
But prayers aren’t enough for these families. They want others to be advocates of safe, sober driving, so no other family has to go through heartbreak.
“It’s an outrage because it’s a 100 percent preventable crime,” Morrow said.
MADD says that every year 2,000 people are killed in Minnesota as a result of drunk driving.
If you’d like to donate to MADD’s mission, click here.