Bob Carreau, the father of the late Robert Carreau, is working with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the OPP in hopes of preventing impaired driving.
Robert Carreau, who was the Head of School for Rosseau Lake College, died in November of 2020 when he was struck by an SUV driven by an impaired driver on Hwy. 141, just outside of Rosseau. Police say he was jogging with two friends at the time he was hit.
The partnership comes during the provincial police’s Festive R.I.D.E. (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) campaign that is run annually during the holiday season. This year’s campaign started on Nov. 17 and continues until Jan. 2, 2023.
“He was a gift to us,” said Bob Carreau in a video posted to social media by the OPP. The elder Carreau was fighting back tears throughout the seven-minute video. “He grew up to be a wonderful man,” he continued.
Sgt. Matt Roberts with the West Parry Sound OPP was one of the first officers on the scene. “[The] call came in and you knew right away it was not a good one,” he said. When he arrived at the scene, Roberts says paramedics and firefighters had already arrived. “But then, like often happens in these, it very quickly gets calm when you realize there’s nothing that can be done for first aid,” he added.
“He struck Robert,” said Carreau. “The vehicle broke him, broke his beautiful face.” He added that the impact of the SUV hitting Robert knocked both his shoes and one sock off. “I’m a scientist,” he added. “I don’t know how violent that would have to be to knock you out of your sock.”
Roberts says soon after arriving, he realized who Carreau was. “He was well known to the community of Rosseau,” he explained. Because of that, he grabbed another officer and went to Carreau’s home so they could tell his wife and children about what happened before word got out. “We knew the news would spread really quickly,” said Roberts.
“It was one of those moments when you kind of walk in the room and the room kind of loses its air,” he said about telling Carreau’s family. “There’s not much more to say other than you’re sorry. You just feel really limited in what you can do.”
“Maybe somebody that’s had four beers in the last hours and is getting pulled over isn’t that happy, but I’m happy that [they’re] getting pulled over,” said Carreau, adding it will prevent someone else from making a “terrible mistake.”
At the end of the video, the words “see an impaired driver? Call 911” flash on the screen.