The families of two young adults who died in a car crash near Trochu, Alta., are sharing more about the couple.
“Our two vibrant children, Macy Boyce and Ethan Halford, a young couple with the promise of bright futures, dedicated university students full of life and hope, were on their way to their first getaway this year, to spend time together visiting friends and family,” a joint statement said.
“They left full of excitement and anticipation for what the weekend would bring.”
On the evening of June 17, the vehicle Boyce and Halford were in was rear-ended at high speed, the statement read, causing it to cross into oncoming traffic. The pair, 20 and 21, died on the scene.
“We do not and cannot know what led the accused to decide to drive in the manner he did that night. We only suffer the fallout of decisions.”
Richard Douglas Bell, 42, of Elnora, Alta., faces two charges of impaired operation causing death, two charges of dangerous operation causing death, impaired operation of a motor vehicle and refusing to provide a breath sample. Bell is due to appear in a Drumheller court on June 24.
Boyce was an international relations student at the University of Calgary and a former member of the Calgary Police Cadets. The families remember her as an “avid traveller” and advocate for women’s rights, animal welfare and social justice.
“Macy loved her family and friends fiercely, and always offered a hand of help to those in need. We will always cherish her generosity, courage, and bold, beautiful spirit,” the joint statement said.
A University of Saskatchewan civil engineering student, Halford was also an amateur athlete who participated in skiing, baseball and competitive wake-surfing.
“He had a smile that would brighten the whole room (or boat). His time here has left an impression on those that were lucky enough to have met him,” the families recall.
“We take comfort in knowing that they did not suffer, and were together at the end of their too-brief lives.
“We ask the public to remember their names, and consider the consequences of impaired driving. No family should have to live through this pain, grieving for all we have been denied in the hours, days and years to come.”
The Calgary Police Service considers Boyce a “part of our policing family” following her two-year tenure as a cadet.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the Boyce/MacPherson and Halford families during this difficult time,” a CPS statement said.
The president of the Calgary chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said the tragic crash was frustrating.
“This is not an isolated incident. This is something that happens over and over and over again,” Rick Lundy said. “And when an incident like this happens, you think that something’s going to change and people are going to get the message.
“And then a little while later, we’re dealing with the same thing again.”
Lundy said MADD often helps families navigate tragedies that come from intoxicated driving, calling it a “selfish” act.
“To think that that could be anyone’s child is tragic,” the father of two 21-year-old men said.
He said MADD isn’t against consumption of alcohol or cannabis, especially with patio season in full swing.
“If you want a drink or you want to use cannabis, that’s completely up to you. But the message here is not to get behind the wheel once you’ve been doing this because you can kill somebody or yourself.”
Lundy stressed the importance of having a plan to get home after taking in intoxicating substances – a plan that doesn’t involve operating a car or truck.
“Have a plan beforehand so you know how you’re going to get home. Prevention is the key because once you’re drunk, you don’t make good decisions.”
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