'It’s not worth it': Saskatoon family who lost loved one to alleged impaired driving holds march
Friends and family of Kionna Nicotine march to raise awareness about impaired driving on Aug. 19, 2020. (Nicole Di Donato/CTV Saskatoon)
SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon family who lost a loved one to an alleged case of impaired driving held a march Wednesday morning to raise awareness and honour her memory.
Kionna Nicotine, 23, died on June 6 after being hit by a vehicle in a parking lot.
Nicotine’s younger sister, Tierra, organized the march to share their family’s story and discourage people from getting behind the wheel while impaired.
“I will do all I can to prevent something like this from happening again and to prevent families from going through the same thing my family is going through right now,” Tierra said.
“When you’re behind the wheel and you’re impaired, you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t know what’s going to happen next so it’s not worth it getting into that vehicle after one or two drinks, it’s just not.”
About 20 people attended the march, holding up photos of Nicotine and signs with messages like “Don’t Drink and Drive” and “Long Live Kionna.”
Nicotine’s best friend Stacey-Marie Antoinette Stone, 22, was charged with impaired driving causing death in connection to the incident.
Nicotine’s family has said they forgive Stone, calling it an unfortunate accident.
Stone’s mother also took part in the march.
Tierra said she was happy so many people joined to help spread their message, adding that the march was also a way to keep her sister’s memory alive.
“I just really want to be a voice for her and I don’t want people to forget her name and I don’t people to forget her story,” she told CTV News.
Nicotine was described as loving, fun person who enjoyed playing practical jokes. The family also said Nicotine, who was two-spirit, was also a huge adovoacte for people in the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“She was a voice for the younger generation that were too afraid to come out of the closet to their family. She was just a really good person. If you needed advice, she would be the best person to go to,” Tierra said.
Tierra and her family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for high school scholarships for the LGBTQ2S+ community in Nicotine’s honour.
The march started at Fire Creek Gas and Grill and ended at the provincial court house where Stone was expected to appear.
Her case has been adjourned until Sept. 9.