Tragedy struck on Friday, December 21st when a collision took place on Highway #305 and Highway #11 near Warman. At approximately 6:40pm, members of the Warman detachment of the RCMP responded to a report of a head-on two vehicle accident involving a white half-ton truck and a blue half-ton truck.
Upon arrival, two occupants from the white truck were transported to hospital with undetermined injuries, while the third occupant, 11 year-old Sophie Mae Schnurr was pronounced dead at the scene. The adult male driver and lone occupant of the second truck was also transported to hospital with undetermined injuries.
A traffic collision analyst was called to the scene and conducted an investigation which saw the closure of Highway 305 until the investigation was completed the next day.
Police noted that they believed that alcohol was a factor in relation to the driver of the blue truck.
Following the accident, an outpouring of support for the Schnurr family was seen on social media, with many encouraging motorists to ensure they do not drive impaired in order to avoid life altering situations such as the one that claimed an innocent 11 year-olds life.
As a way to help the Warman family with funeral expenses, family friend Dustin Riley created a GoFundMe page, which went viral across social media. An initial goal of $10,000 was set and as of Sunday, December 30th, that number had reached almost $27,000. “This accident has hit home to many, but for them it has been a devastating time. We want to ensure they are taken care of and most of all, their other daughter Grace is looked after,” the page stated. Any additional money raised will be donated to a good cause in Sophie’s name.
Sophie, daughter of Sam and Dawn Schnurr was laid to rest on Saturday, December 29th. In her obituary, Sophie was described as “a beautiful girl with so much zest for life and family. Her sweet, caring, funny, intelligent, kind soul touched so many.”
In 2018, new provincial legislation took effect that now sees tougher impaired driving laws including zero-tolerance for drug-impaired driving and stronger penalties for impaired drivers transporting children. Additionally, on December 18th, a new federal law came into force that now enables police to demand a roadside breath sample from any driver who has been lawfully stopped.
SGI has made their January Traffic Spotlight all about impaired driving, noting that impaired driving is the leading cause of death on Saskatchewan roads. “The acceptable number for drivers charged with impairment is zero. The acceptable number for people killed and hurt by impaired driving is zero. Every driver has the responsibility to never get behind the wheel when they’re impaired,” Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund, stated.
SGI noted that the number one cause of death on Saskatchewan roads is a completely preventable one.