Jessica Holman-Price's mother fights for safer trucks, 10 years on
Published Friday, December 18, 2015 8:36PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 19, 2015 5:24PM EST
It was 10 years ago that 21-year-old Jessica Holman-Price died saving her brother from being run over by a snow removal truck in Westmount, and it’s been 10 years that her mother Jeanette has been campaigning to make heavy trucks safer.
Jessica was posthumously honoured in during a ceremony Westmount Friday for her heroic actions, held not far away from where the collision took place.
Jessica and her brother Peter Luc, who was 10-years-old at the time, were at the corner of Strathcona Ave. and Sherbrooke St. crossing the street that December night. A snow removal truck was at the same corner, going to turn right. The siblings were in the truck's blind spot.
"I heard my sister yell my name. I turned and I saw the truck coming at me. I got hit, and as I went under she reached for me and I guess went under and [she] saved my life, and I choose to forget the rest," he said, recounting publicly what happened that night for the first time.
Jeanette said she remembered going to the scene and noticing there were no protective side rails on the trucks. She had seen them before on trucks in Europe, so she was under the impression the truck was broken. She's spent the last 10 years campaigning tirelessly to have them added to all heavy trucks.
“The only resistance I meet is that people haven't seen the research or didn't know they existed, but there is not a time where I have presented … anywhere that side guards didn't happen. When I heard last year New York City was going to adopt Jessica guards, I had never spoken in New York City. It’s not me, it just makes sense,” she said.
More than half of all accidents involving trucks occur while the cyclist or pedestrian is in the blind spot. In October, Montreal police teamed up with the Quebec government to demonstrate how much space a truck driver can't see while driving.
The city of Westmount became the first in Quebec to install the side guards in 2013 and took it a step further by adding cameras to further eliminate the blind spot. Since then, the St. Laurent borough and Newfoundland and Labrador have followed suit. Montreal is considering them too.
Jeanette said she hopes the MP for Westmount, Marc Garneau, takes notice and makes them mandatory across the country. She is encouraging people to approach their municipalities directly and ask them to make the change.
It's a change Jeanette has been working toward to honour her late daughter's memory.
"She's did amazing things in her 21 years on this earth, and she's made miracles in the 10 years since she passed," she said.