To lose a child is too hard

Alanna Kelly

His daughter was killed during a multi-vehicle collision on the Coquihalla Highway just south of Merritt almost eight months ago.

This weekend, Hideki Mimura flew from Japan to prevent further deaths on roadways and share the memory of 21-year-old Melissa Mimura.

“On April 2, our daughter had her first and last traffic accident on Highway 5,” he said. “She was on the way back from Vancouver to Kelowna after visiting friends.”

Mimura would have graduated from the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus just two months after she died.

“She was really looking forward to having her whole family coming from Japan to celebrate,” he said.

Hideki joined multiple Kelowna residents on Sunday at Waterfront Park for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

“It is too late for us, but the reason I travelled from Yokohama is to prevent any more tragedy we are going through right now,” he said. “We are still suffering from the great pain of losing her, we cry multiple times, everyday.”

The event, sponsored by One Crash is Too Many, hopes to influence rules in B.C., saying the penalty for distracted driving needs to be stricter and driving behaviour needs to change.

B.C.'s Attorney General David Eby said distracted driving is a "high-risk behaviour" similar to impaired driving or speeding and should be treated as such.

Distracted driving is a factor in more than 25 per cent of all car crash fatalities in B.C., killing on average 78 people each year.

Hideki said his daughter got into a collision after a sudden weather change and called police to get help. She just stepped outside her vehicle when she was hit by a driver and was instantly killed.

Since their daughter's death, the driver who killed her has not been fined.

“So far this driver has not been given a ticket or fine, not written a letter of apology to us, that means with the law in Canada it is OK to kill someone if the weather is bad, no matter how careful or not,” he said.

"To lose a child is too hard," he said. 

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