MADD Canada

February 23, 2017 09:00 ET

In The Blink Of An Eye - Manitoba Students See The Devastation Impaired Driving Can Cause

WINNIPEG, MB--(Marketwired - February 23, 2017) - Your world can change in the blink of an eye. That's the message MADD Canada and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) are driving home to Manitoba students with a dynamic new educational film that is currently touring schools around the province.

MADD Canada's 2016-2017 School Assembly Program, titled In the Blink of an Eye, is being delivered to Manitoba students in Grades 7 - 12 from February to June. MADD Canada and MPI are hosting a special screening for students and staff at River East Collegiate today.

In the Blink of an Eye tells the story of best friends Gabby and Sarah. One night, as the girls prepare to go to a party, they are joined by Sarah's boyfriend Dylan, and his friend Asif. Sarah drinks and smokes pot with Dylan and Asif, while Gabby declines. Dylan, anxious to get to the party, decides to drive rather than wait for a cab. His friends strongly object and refuse to get in the car. A very upset Sarah calls 911 to report Dylan, while Asif walks Gabby home. Even though Gabby, Asif and Sarah all do the right thing, a tragic twist of fate ends a friendship abruptly and ruins many lives. And it all happens in the blink of an eye.

"Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people in Canada, and more than half of those crashes involve alcohol and/or drugs," said Patricia Hynes-Coates, MADD Canada National President. "Through this powerful school program, we want to help students truly understand the devastation that impaired driving can cause, and know that every single person has the power to prevent it by making the right choices."

A generous partner to MADD Canada since 2002, MPI makes invaluable contributions to awareness and education efforts aimed at preventing impaired driving. As a Provincial Sponsor of the 2016-2017 School Assembly Program, MPI is directly sponsoring 109 presentations to schools around the province, including 24 presentations in northern Manitoba.

"Young drivers have a major role to play in making our roads and communities safer," said Ward Keith, Vice President, Business Development & Communications and Chief Product Officer for MPI. "By engaging young people in this dialogue about the risks and tragic outcomes of impaired driving, we empower them to make responsible choices and to protect themselves and one another. "

In addition to the fictional storyline in In the Blink of an Eye, the presentation also features emotional real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving. In fact, it is the victim testimonials that have the most lasting impact on students. This year's program tells the stories of:

  • Dean "DJ" Hancock
    DJ Hancock was on his way home from a hockey tryout when his car was struck head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. DJ's parents arrived on the scene minutes later. He was breathing when his parents got there, but died as he was lifted from the mangled car.
  • Jackie Dionne
    Jackie and Kevin Clements were passengers in a car driven by a friend who was impaired by alcohol and drugs. The impaired driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. The driver and another passenger were treated for injuries and released. Jackie was killed instantly and Kevin died the next day. Jackie had a toddler son, Jayden.
  • Mackenzie Fragoso
    Mackenzie was riding in a car with her dad, David Fragoso, and step-mother, Charlotte Patterson, when they were hit head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. David and Charlotte were killed. Seriously injured, 12-year-old Mackenzie was pulled from the burning vehicle seconds before it exploded.

To see a clip from In the Blink of an Eye, please visit our School Assembly Program page in the Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at

Evidence shows that MADD Canada's strategies to reach young people are working. In a 2015-2016 survey of students who saw that year's School Assembly Program, titled 24 Hours: 80% of respondents said the program was effective in delivering its message about not driving while impaired; two-thirds of respondents said the presentation will be effective in changing behaviours regarding impaired driving; and 97% of respondents supported a similar presentation the following year.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Patricia Hynes-Coates
    National President, MADD Canada
    647-919-6233 or
    MPI Media Relations Unit

    Note to Assignment Editors:
    For information on when In the Blink of an Eye is visiting your area, please contact Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or