Dancers pay their respects to another victim of drunk drivers

2011-05-11 00:00

HUNDREDS of emotional friends and family members who have lost their loved ones through drinking and driving accidents, gathered at the Athlone Bridge, north of Durban to spread the simple message of no drinking and driving.

Balloons with messages of hope and condolences by protesters were let loose into the air.

“RIP all those who died,” one balloon read.

The march, which was organised by South Africans Against Drunk Driving (Sadd), started at Riverside Hotel and took place in memory of Carmen Hunter (19), a dance teacher, Gillian Bell (33) and her son Connor (9), who were killed by an alleged drunk driver lawyer Koobashan Naicker, on March 26 this year.

Director of Sadd, Caro Smit, said, “This is a hard and sad day for us. We’re all victims of car crashes and our lives have been altered forever. It’s our right not to be killed.”

Connor’s grandmother and mother-in-law to Gillian, Audrey Bell (73), said their family are still trying to come to terms with losing two members of their family. “It’s so horrific trying to come to terms with it.

Gillian was described as an exceptional, generous person who had a larger than life personality, while Connor was sharp in sports, loved his rugby, and was a “sweet and kind little boy”.

Fellow dancers at the studio where Hunter was a teacher, Dance Direction International, said they will remember her beautiful smile.

Dean Macpherson, Durban North councillor and national director of QuadPara Association of South Africa, an organisation that serves quadriplegics, paraplegics and the disability sector, strongly condemned the killings on the road. It has been reported that 50% of the people who die on the road are killed as a result of people who drink and drive.

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