On August 22, 2018, Sandra LaRose lost her 17-year-old daughter, Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk, in a tragic railway crossing incident. Kailynn died after the car she was driving was struck by a train in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. She had been using her phone’s GPS to navigate and didn’t see or hear the train coming.
Since that tragic day, Sandra has made it her mission to share the story of Kailynn’s death—and of her family’s pain—in the hopes of saving other young lives.
Since 2020, she’s been talking to organizations, community groups, and schools in Manitoba and Saskatchewan about the devastating consequences that distracted driving can have—especially near railway tracks and trains. Now, she’s partnering with Operation Lifesaver (OL) Canada to bring that message to even more Canadians.
Sandra is starting a new role as OL Canada’s Youth Rail-Safe Driving Consultant. She spoke to OL about the new partnership, and what she hopes to achieve.