Tavistock woman involved in car collision with allegedly impaired driver

  • News   Thu, May 19th, 2022   Jessica Harvey
The aftermath of Madison’s vehicle after a car collision at the intersection of Perth Road 107 and Perth Line 33.

The aftermath of Madison’s vehicle after a car collision at the intersection of Perth Road 107 and Perth Line 33.

By Jessica Harvey
After completing a twelve-hour shift, Madison McNab (21) of Tavistock, a nurse at Stratford General Hospital, went from the practitioner to the patient in a split second.
“I had just stopped to get gas and clean my car,” she explains, as she was set to trade her vehicle in the following day. “I was having a great week knowing I was getting my new car, and I had received my acceptance letter for the RN program.”
But on the evening of Thursday, April 28, at about 8 o’clock p.m., Madison was driving home from her shift at the hospital when she was involved in a motor vehicle collision at the intersection of Perth Road 107 and Perth Line 33.
She was heading southbound on Road 107 when she saw a truck heading westbound on Perth Line 33 approaching the stop sign, “You always get that hesitation of is this person going to stop.”
Madison explained that as she got closer to the intersection, she realized once it was too late that the truck was not going to stop, then she hit her brakes.
She recalls a woman standing beside her. “All of a sudden I could hear her saying, there is a girl in her twenties or thirties who is still in the car.” Madison adds that she has no recollection of the airbags going off. “I can remember the smell of the deployed airbags, and that’s all I recall of the impact,” Madison explains. She recalls the moments when she realized her car was badly damaged and could see the pick-up truck was flipped over. “Right away, I thought, are those people, ok?” adding that it looked terrible.
Madison was taken to Stratford General Hospital, where she was treated and released that evening with a sore neck and back but very much in shock. She noted the exceptional care she received at the Stratford Emergency department.
According to the police report, responding officers recall that while speaking with one driver at the scene, signs of impairment were detected, and the driver was placed under arrest and transported to a local police detachment for further testing.
As a result of those tests, an 18-year-old man from Stratford was charged with “dangerous operation, operation while impaired – alcohol and drugs,” and “operation while impaired – blood concentration (80 plus).”
He was subsequently issued a 90-day Administrative Driver’s License Suspension and a 7-Day Vehicle Impoundment as per statute.
The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford later to answer to the charges.
Madison recalls the split second where she hit her brakes, and notes that decision likely saved her life. “If he had not accelerated through the intersection, and I hadn’t hit my brakes, it would have likely been a direct hit to the driver’s side door.”
Madison was very lucky to have walked away from the accident with only minor back and neck pain, but in the weeks since she has had ongoing pain and stiffness, as well as concussion symptoms of headaches, memory loss, whiplash, repeating things, as well as the trauma she now feels driving.
“Even if I am just driving to Stratford, I always have to drive past that spot and think to myself, I could have died there.”
According to a report by MADD Canada in 2021, “every hour in Canada, an average of 10 federal criminal charges and provincial short-term licence suspensions are laid for alcohol or drug-impaired driving.”
To see something positive come from this experience, Madison wants to create awareness.
“You hope that a lesson is learned from this. I will not downplay the severity of this accident, but it should not have to take a fatal accident to create more awareness.” She adds, “It should not take a tragedy to make people realize how bad it is to drink and drive.”
In the days following the accident, Madison received a sweater she had ordered from McMaster University.
“Imagine my parents having to get that package in the mail, if things had gone the other way.”
Madison summarized things by stating, “It felt very weird to be the patient in that moment, but I’m just grateful that I was able to call my parents to tell them about the accident, and that they didn’t have to get that call or a visit from the police.”