Speaking out to prevent tragedies caused by distracted driving

Talking about the loss of her daughter, Kailynn, is something that is incredibly painful for Sandra Larose. But she’s willing to do it—over and over again—if it can prevent another parent, sibling or loved one from experiencing the pain she’s had to go through.

On August 22, 2018, her 17-year-old daughter, Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk, died after the car she was driving was struck by a train in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Kailynn had been using her phone’s GPS to navigate and didn’t see or hear the train coming.

Since that tragic day, LaRose has made it her mission to keep Kailynn’s memory alive—in the hopes of saving other young lives.
In 2019, LaRose took part in Operation Lifesaver’s #STOPTrackTragedies campaign. In her heartbreaking video, she talks about Kailynn’s death and how it inspired her to educate others about the dangers of using cell phones while driving. In July 2022, LaRose also joined Operation Lifesaver’s Saskatchewan Committee as a way to spread her message.
Keeping Kailynn’s memory alive by sharing her story
Now, LaRose is once again using Kailynn’s memory as a way to help others. She has developed “Kailynn’s Story” an approximately 50-minute presentation on the dangers of distracted driving.  She has started giving the presentation at schools and other community events—or anywhere else people are willing to listen.

“My goal in sharing this story is to educate others on how decisions they make when they get into the driver's seat can change their lives forever,” she explains. “If one person is saved by hearing me speak, then Kailynn and I have done our jobs. We've succeeded. That person will have a chance at a full and long life.”

If you want to find out more about LaRose’s presentation, or to book her to speak, check out her new website at sandralarose.ca. Or follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.