$400 fine and 3 demerit points for the life of 79 year old Siu Mui Lam

Siu Mui LamSiu Mui Lam (also known as Mrs. Wong, born 1930) was killed by a dump truck driver on June 23, 2009 (the second day of City strike) when she crossed an intersection at St. Helen’s street/ Bloor before a STOP sign.

The impact was so huge, that head and body was severely disfigured, and she pronounced dead at the scene. Her family was shocked, devastated and traumatized by this violent end of their beloved mom, who had been an ambassador of road safety – never jaywalked and very cautious.

The police informed them the driver was charged “careless driving causing death”. However, when attending the court hearing on Feb 4, 2010, they are extremely outraged to learn that the charge was changed to “unable to proceed with caution at a STOP sign”.

The driver was only fined $400 and 3 demerits points!

In a email, her daugther says :

Where is justice? The careless driver was set free with just a slap on his hand! We, as family of victim, have no right to appeal both the conviction and sentence. This judicial system fails to serve the justice.

I came across a website: Families Fighting Careless Driving.com and learn many family tragedies who are going through similar pain and sorrow. Human life loss is not valued and the whole system favours the careless drivers. The organizer of the website has been advocating for law change to fair conviction and sentencing to careless driving since 2008 after his dad was killed by a careless driver in Hamilton.

I signed the petition. I urge everyone of you to view the website and showed your support for this good cause; and to honour the life of my mom and other victims. Thank you very much for reading and your support. I will also appreciate you forward this email to your friends who may support this cause.

In grief,

Miu Lin

I know the family and Mrs. Wong, and attended her memorial at Bates & Dodds Funeral Services on July 2nd 2009. She was great and good lady, much loved and I was lucky to have meet her. My sadness is only increased by the manner of her death, and the (lack of) justice dealt to the driver responsible.

Her death is to me personal, but this further injustice comes at a time when a) the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has had a unusual rash of pedestrian deaths in January of 2010, (see see Grim month continues with 14th pedestrian death), and b) the recent CBC story of Suspended drivers still driving.

Please checkout Families Fighting Careless Driving.com and the reforms advocated. I signed the petition and I hope you will also.

Below is a Brief Biography of Siu Mui Lam – from her family – a woman that never gave up!

Siu Mui Lam, the beloved mother of her six children and 7 grandchildren, was born to in a poor village family in China in the early 30s and she grew up during hardship of the war. Her father died when she was younger than 10. Unable to afford to feed all the children, my mother was given up for adoption by other relatives. As little girl, she had to work as a farm hand. As a teenager and just old enough to live on her own, she left the village and worked in a factory that required her to handle hazardous materials. While working as a maid servant, she followed her employer’s family and moved to Hong Kong just before the Communist took over in 1949. She did not have a chance to attend school.

She met our father got married in the 1950s. They operated a tailor shop together and started their new family with the arrival of our siblings. She continued to work hard for the shop and nurture her children. She was happy with our father and the children.

Unfortunately, my father got sick and passed away when my eldest sister was 13 and the youngest brother was 3. Life was very difficult growing up because of poverty and alienation from extended families. She was determined to raise the six children on her own against all odds.

Looking back, our siblings feel the awe of the sacrifice and resilience of our beloved mother in the two decades following the passing of our father. We were lucky to have her as our mother. She never gave up and always protected us from many harsh realities. Although being deprived of an education herself, she ensured all her children were provided the best possible education opportunities, and most important of all, hope and inspiration that things will be better.

Our mother always had a beautiful smile. Her given name “Siu Mui’ literally means ‘Smiling Plum Blossom”. Plum Blossom resists severity of winter and blooms in the cold. She always encouraged us to think positively and put up a smile even life isn’t.

With all her children grew up, finished universities, started working and raising their own families, some far away in Canada and Australia. She officially closed the shop and entered her retirement after decades of hard work. She wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren. In 1994, She moved to Canada to be closer to some of her children. She loved her new country and she loved her retirement. She was excited about learning in a classroom – first time in her life. She shared with us and our friends the alphabets and simple English phrases of good morning and good afternoon. She prepared our dinner and delicious lunch boxes. We often blamed her for making us fat. We all shared the joy of the arrival of Justin, Miu Lin’s child in 1995. She took great pride in raising a healthy grandson with my sister. She was always proud of Justin, and her many other grandchildren in Hong Kong, Australia and Canada. She traveled often to visit them.

She made a lot of friends in her new country. She volunteered for the senior club, and other charity and social justice initiatives we have involved with. Our mother was always generous. She always prepared the best meal for our friends and relatives when they come visit. She lived a simple life, wore her clothes for many years, and saved leftovers for herself. Sometimes we had to force her to enjoy life luxuries and trash leftovers. Very often she prepared gifts for older relatives and friends when she visited them on our behalf and she did not even let us know.

Mother was very healthy and she kept all her regular medical check-up with her family doctor and specialist. She was very independent; and she could take the subway on her own. She visited the Buddhist temple often and prayed for us. With her health, optimism and resilience, we continued to plan for years of sharing our life with her and little by little repaying her kindness and sacrifice.

Leave a Reply