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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

OPP Stop Stunt Drivers on Anniversary Of Couple's Death

Bruce Peninsula | by Claire McCormack  

Two years ago a young couple was killed on the Bruce Peninsula in a stunt driving collision.

Photo from Twitter via @OPP_WR 

Grey Bruce OPP are on the Peninsula today to remember the young couple who were killed on Highway 6 by a stunt driver exactly two years ago.

On August 26th, 2017, 23-year old Jana Watson of Strathroy and 22-year old Traves Atchison were on a trip to Tobermory when their Jeep was hit head-on by a Dodge Charger, being driven erratically. The impact caused the couple's SUV to become engulfed in fire.

In an awareness campaign and in memory of the young couple, police are stationed on the roadside all day, ready to ticket speeders.

OPP's Sgt Kerry Schmidt and Adam Belanger are posting videos at the roadside where they pulled over a speeder minutes after setting up. OPP say a 21 year old driver from Barrie has had their licence suspended and car towed.
They also charged a 19 year old driver with street racing and towed his vehicle and suspended his licence for seven days.

"The speed limit here is here for a reason," says Schmidt.

Belanger notes the area has seen an increase in visitor numbers in recent years "We want people to come and enjoy this beautiful area, but when you're here, you need to slow down and drive safe. The highway is made in such a way that it works for 80 and if you do anything more than that you're jeopardizing yourself and the others on the road."

Grey Bruce Detachment Commander Martin Murray and Sergeant Pittman met with the families of the couple today at their roadside memorial.

2017 saw the deaths of four people on the highway. 38 year old Pastor Edward (Chad) Honneyman was also killed when he was hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. 32 year old Justin Lozon of Mount Forest has been charged with dangerous driving in relation to Honneyman's death.

Since 2017, the OPP have held numerous speed limit enforcement campaigns on the highway. Last year they charged 130 stunt drivers between January and November.

This year, they've charged over 150 stunt drivers to date.


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