On October 24th, 2022, 133 cars journeyed from Cornwall, ON, to Wendover, ON, commemorating Emma Roy, a 20-year-old who recently passed away from a car accident. Chris Prieur, a 23-year-old, organized the event to help console the community who suffered from her loss just as much as he did.
Chris shared the event titled “Memorial Cruise for Emma” on Facebook with hopes of gathering a small group of cars and driving from her hometown to the scene of the accident in memory of her. The result? More than 200 people in attendance from across the province rode as a unit not only in remembrance of Emma but to spread awareness on car safety.
“Some people didn’t know her, but having lost someone in a car accident allowed them to realize that it’s time to be smarter and safer when driving,” said Chris. When a young person central to a community passes away it brings them together, and that is what the “Memorial Cruise for Emma” did for the car community in Ontario. “Community is about helping each other and being there for each other. It can be crazy and toxic at times, but when it is time to come together, we put our differences aside to support each other,” said Chris.
Emma was near and dear to Chris and an irreplaceable part of his life and the car community. Chris organized this event because he needed something to remember her after the funeral that was happier than the procession. When asked how the event affected him, he said,
“I don’t understand how a 20-year-old could have such a large effect on so many people given so little time. She lived 75 years in 20 and didn’t care what anyone thought. Her life was hers to live, and she lived every day like that.”
Moving forward, Chris, along with the members of the car community, will always carry Emma Roy in their hearts alongside the best lesson she taught them: “Live each day like it is your last because you never know when that might be.”