Almost five years after the tragic and all-too-sudden death of their son J.P., Alex and Marilou Haughey have established a lasting legacy to honour his life and love of music.
On May 5, 2014, J.P. was driving classmates Sarah Wensley and Kara Mitsuing to track practice. A stolen vehicle driven by a drunk driver struck the vehicle, killing J.P. and Sarah, and seriously injuring Mitsuing.
At an emotional event last week, with many of J.P.’s former classmates in attendance, the Haugheys revealed the grand piano they donated to Bethlehem Catholic High School, the school J.P. attended.
“Music was his passion,” Marilou Haughey said in a news release. “Music always filled the house, even the neighbourhood on a summer day when the windows were open. One of his dreams was to own a grand piano. We would go to Long and McQuade so he could play the grand piano there. I miss the sound of the piano. We think this gift to the school is a good way to keep our son’s memory alive.”
David Knight, principal at Bethlehem, expressed his thanks to the Haughey family and the entire community.
“The way this community came together — the school community, extended family and friends, the local Filipino community, and even people from overseas — to support the Haughey family and honour J.P. is inspiring. Thank you everyone, and a special thanks to Alex and Marilou.”
Hon. Joe Hargrave, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, thanked the Haugheys for all they have done to help in the fight against impaired driving in Saskatchewan.
“Their willingness to share their story of personal loss is a heartbreaking reminder to all of us that if you drive while impaired, your choice could take a life and forever change the lives of families left behind.”
Bonny Stevenson, who also had a son killed by a drunk driver, spoke on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.