Connor Schuchard and Andy McComb are starting a non-profit group called Friends Against Drunk Drivers after two Maple Ridge teens were killed in a head-on collision early Sunday. Police

Connor Schuchard and Andy McComb are starting a non-profit group called Friends Against Drunk Drivers after two Maple Ridge teens were killed in a head-on collision early Sunday. Police

Friends of Maple Ridge teens killed in crash start FADD

Group to educate peers about dangers of drunk drinking

The friends of two Maple Ridge teens killed in a head-on collision early Sunday are channelling their grief to spur change by starting a group to educate their peers about drinking and driving.

Connor Schuchard sparked the idea in a Facebook post on Tuesday, two days after Dawson Spencer and Crystal Weaver died in a head-on collision that injured four other teens.

Spencer was driving the a van that police say crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into a Honda Civic, in which Weaver was a passenger. She would have turned 19 yesterday.

Spencer was 17.

The two boys who were passengers in Spencer’s van, and his classmates at Samuel Robertson Technical School, remain in hospital. One has a punctured diaphragm, the other a broken pelvis.

The driver of the Honda also remains in hospital with compound fractures to both her femurs, while a second passenger in the car has since been released. All three girls were friends who graduated from Garibaldi secondary last year.

Investigators say the van was likely speeding, and alcohol is being considered a possible factor in the crash, but it could be months before toxicology reports will be able to confirm it.

Friend Against Drunk Driving gathered more than 1,000 likes on Facebook in just two days.

“It really caught on fast,” said Schuchard, who is now spreading the word by making T-shirts, stickers and bracelets.

Schuchard, Jake Cantin and Andy McComb, all 18, are now developing ideas, such as speaking to high school students about the dangers of distracted and drunk driving and partnering with local pubs to spread their message.

They believe teens will heed a warning that comes from their peers more so than a message or lecture delivered by adults.

“You can’t judge somebody on stupid actions, you’ve got to remember them for the person they were,” says McComb.

“Even if all the effort we put into this saves one life, then it’s worth it.”

Schuchard thinks starting FADD was something Weaver would do. She was always helping people and mentored younger students in high school.

“It’s hard to say, but sometimes it takes something tragic to start something positive,” he says.

He wants teens to stop their friends from getting behind the wheel drunk and plan ahead for a ride home if they are going to a party.

“I don’t want this to happen again,” says Schuchard.

Police have not yet confirmed if Spencer had consumed alcohol prior to the crash. However, neither he nor the driver of the Honda should not have been on the road Sunday.

RCMP say Spencer had an “L” licence, while Jessica Smalls, who was driving the Honda, had an “N”.

A learner’s permit, which prohibited him from driving without the supervision of a person over the age of 25. Drivers with a learner’s license are also not allowed to be on the road after midnight.

A novice the driver can only have one passenger, unless they are immediate family members.

Alcohol was found in the Honda, but police believe the driver was sober.