A personal quest

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Mount Pearl councillor promoting "Save our People" lobby after daughter injured in moose-vehicle collision

When Mount Pearl Coun. Lucy Stoyles recently asked her council colleagues to support a citizens' lobby to reduce moose-vehicle collisions, you could sense it wasn't simply a political plea.

Her tone of voice suggested something more personal.

Just two months ago, Stoyles' 34-year-old daughter hit a moose while driving on Pitts Memorial Drive from Mount Pearl to Conception Bay South.

Lucy Stoyles

When Mount Pearl Coun. Lucy Stoyles recently asked her council colleagues to support a citizens' lobby to reduce moose-vehicle collisions, you could sense it wasn't simply a political plea.

Her tone of voice suggested something more personal.

Just two months ago, Stoyles' 34-year-old daughter hit a moose while driving on Pitts Memorial Drive from Mount Pearl to Conception Bay South.

Stoyles said her daughter, a very athletic fitness trainer, had left Mount Pearl to go swimming in Conception Bay South when the accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18.

"It was just getting dark, around dusk," Stoyles said, and the moose her daughter hit was described by people at the scene as being one of the largest moose they had seen. The damage the animal did has been life-altering for Stoyles and her family.

Her daughter suffered multiple broken bones in her face and head.

"The doctor said her nose was crushed. She had a lot of broken bones in her face and cheek bones, her skull was cracked and a lot of broken glass went into her eyes," Stoyles said. She was on life support for seven days, in a coma for more than a week and was hospitalized for three weeks.

Stoyles said she and her husband, Reg, stayed at the hospital day and night for more than two weeks and, since their daughter came home from hospital, they've taken turns being with her because she still has vision problems. "She can't see very well at all," Stoyles said.

The ordeal has been hard on the whole family. "We're still not over it yet," said Stoyles, who worries now every time a family member leaves her house to drive any distance. But she's glad her daughter is alive.

She doesn't remember the accident, but is still pretty shook up about it, Stoyles said. She's already underwent one surgery as a result of her injuries and will have to have more surgery.

When Stoyles sought the support of Mount Pearl city council during a recent meeting, Mayor Randy Simms promptly put forward a motion that received unanimous approval.

Council agreed to write letters to provincial ministers, including Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson, Natural Resources Minister Kathy Dunderdale and Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson, as well as a letter of support to the Save Our People Action Committee, lead by Eugene Nippard of Grand Falls-Windsor.

A similar motion was recently passed by St. John's city council, with Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff commenting that once you've been in a moose-vehicle collision, you never forget it. Having being in a moose-vehicle collision herself, Duff said she's still nervous about driving on the province's highways.

Stoyles has already met with Johnson to voice her concerns and said she was told the department is looking at the density of the moose population and the possibility of issuing more moose hunting licences. It has already bought new equipment to clear brush from the highways to improve visibility.

Stoyles plans to meet with Dunderdale in January and said she'd like to see government take action immediately to get rid of nuisance moose near major arteries.

Stoyles is also working at getting the support of all municipalities in the province. She said 700 moose accidents a year, a figure provided by the province, is too much.

Besides taking lives and injuring people, Stoyles said the health-care costs must be huge.

As well, she said, these accidents are a big expense for insurance companies because moose-vehicle accidents are considered no-fault collisions, with insurance companies paying out claims, but getting nothing back. On that basis, she plans to also seek the insurance industry's support for her cause.

dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: People Action Committee

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Anyone that has hit a moose can tell you that most times you dont even see them before impact. I hit one a few years ago and he ran out of the woods a pretty much full speed. I was light out and I was doing less than the speed limit as it was raining a little. Caught him in the corner of my eye and before I even had time to react he was into the side fender and up over the car. I had 3 passengers in the car and only one had seen the moose before impact and didnt even have a change to yell moose. I consider myself very carefull driver.

    What needs to be done is more moose licenses issued in trouble areas, Street lighting installed in hightraffic and troubles areas like outer-ring Road and Pitts Memorial to CBS or moose fences installed in these areas.

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    I agree something needs to be done and lights on the outer ring, pits memorial are a good start. We could use wind turbines to power those lights.

  • Sailor
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    While I sympathize with what Mrs. Stoyles and Mrs. Duff and their families have gone through, I feel that neither she, Mrs. Duff nor oher members of any council should be using their positions as members of city/town councils to promote their private cause. Mrs. Stoyles for example has already managed to get a meeting with Ms. Johnson while the average probably would never get a meeting. Councils are for council business and not for personal crusades.

  • Enough Private
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Make this a voters issue, not a personal vendetta. Too many little people are attempting to dictate changes to our lives with little to no recourse by the people. Laws need to be presented to the population for a general vote before they are passed otherwise these laws, regulations and acts are nothing more then the desires of the few. The majority want our say in all things that directly impact us and our daily lives. Failing to gain the support if the majority is imposing the minorities unsupported beliefs onto everyone with a complete disregard for the democratic process. In other countries that is considered treason, and should be here as well.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    People need to become better drivers. It is horrible when someone gets injured in an accident, but this is not the fault of the moose. If people would learn to look furhter than the hood ornament on their car there would be far less moose collisions, in my opinion.

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Fear not. Action will be taken to correct this issue. Johnson, Dunderdale and Hedderson are taking it under advisement right? How do you spell check back in four or five years.

  • Maurice
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Hi Lucy;I feel bad for your Daughter & others who have had run-ins with moose,but its like our 'Outer-Ring-Road',or the roller coaster road as some call it, none of those things get look-at,until someone with well-known-background gets hurt or killed: Crosbie,Stokes,Pratt,or Williams,nothing gets done!,& every year the Goverment cuts back in moose licences? Keep-on-trying-girl!,who knows 'someone in Goverment might wake-up!

  • jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Anyone that has hit a moose can tell you that most times you dont even see them before impact. I hit one a few years ago and he ran out of the woods a pretty much full speed. I was light out and I was doing less than the speed limit as it was raining a little. Caught him in the corner of my eye and before I even had time to react he was into the side fender and up over the car. I had 3 passengers in the car and only one had seen the moose before impact and didnt even have a change to yell moose. I consider myself very carefull driver.

    What needs to be done is more moose licenses issued in trouble areas, Street lighting installed in hightraffic and troubles areas like outer-ring Road and Pitts Memorial to CBS or moose fences installed in these areas.

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I agree something needs to be done and lights on the outer ring, pits memorial are a good start. We could use wind turbines to power those lights.

  • Sailor
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    While I sympathize with what Mrs. Stoyles and Mrs. Duff and their families have gone through, I feel that neither she, Mrs. Duff nor oher members of any council should be using their positions as members of city/town councils to promote their private cause. Mrs. Stoyles for example has already managed to get a meeting with Ms. Johnson while the average probably would never get a meeting. Councils are for council business and not for personal crusades.

  • Enough Private
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Make this a voters issue, not a personal vendetta. Too many little people are attempting to dictate changes to our lives with little to no recourse by the people. Laws need to be presented to the population for a general vote before they are passed otherwise these laws, regulations and acts are nothing more then the desires of the few. The majority want our say in all things that directly impact us and our daily lives. Failing to gain the support if the majority is imposing the minorities unsupported beliefs onto everyone with a complete disregard for the democratic process. In other countries that is considered treason, and should be here as well.

  • Taxpayer ll
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    People need to become better drivers. It is horrible when someone gets injured in an accident, but this is not the fault of the moose. If people would learn to look furhter than the hood ornament on their car there would be far less moose collisions, in my opinion.

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Fear not. Action will be taken to correct this issue. Johnson, Dunderdale and Hedderson are taking it under advisement right? How do you spell check back in four or five years.

  • Maurice
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Hi Lucy;I feel bad for your Daughter & others who have had run-ins with moose,but its like our 'Outer-Ring-Road',or the roller coaster road as some call it, none of those things get look-at,until someone with well-known-background gets hurt or killed: Crosbie,Stokes,Pratt,or Williams,nothing gets done!,& every year the Goverment cuts back in moose licences? Keep-on-trying-girl!,who knows 'someone in Goverment might wake-up!