United in the trauma, the family and the rock musician demand a fire extinguisher in each vehicle

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Bob Reid doesn’t like to live with “what ifs”.

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But since trying to save Cindy Devine from the violent accident that took her life in October 2020, he’s been pondering what could have saved her.

Now he has joined his friends and family in fighting for Cindy’s Law, a push to require fire extinguishers in every vehicle on the road.

“I’ve been dragging this for two years. I don’t share my story, because I don’t want people to know what I saw,” Reid said.

“But on the other hand, we have to turn his beautiful life into something meaningful, and that’s the only way I can think of to do that.”

Reid said he was told he couldn’t have put out the car, which was consumed by flames, with just a fire extinguisher. But the fire started small and Devine was alive, albeit trapped, after being hit head-on by a drunk driver on Highbury Avenue near Glanworth Drive.

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“If anyone saw what I had to do, just give a guy like me a fire extinguisher, so at least I can try,” said Reid, who spoke to Devine at the scene before the start. of the fire.

“Let’s just do what smart human beings should do. I don’t even know why I have to fight for this.

Cindy Devine, 35, died in an accident at Highbury Avenue South and Glanworth Drive on October 2, 2020. She was conscious after the head-on crash with a drunk driver but was trapped in her vehicle.  Devine died after her vehicle caught fire.  (Facebook picture)
Cindy Devine, 35, died in an accident at Highbury Avenue South and Glanworth Drive on October 2, 2020. She was conscious after the head-on crash with a drunk driver but was trapped in her vehicle. Devine died after her vehicle caught fire. (Facebook picture)

Devine, a mother of four from St. Thomas, was 35.

Reid, who stopped at the scene of the crash on his way home, was a recent victim in the sentencing of Tyler Besterd, who pleaded guilty last year to impaired driving causing death. Besterd was sentenced to 5½ years in prison earlier this month.

Devine, like Reid, loved music. She was the lead singer of a country band, while he is the lead singer and guitarist of London band Bobnoxious. She was artistic in many ways, increasing the sales of the family craft store through her creativity and her classes.

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Reid will take Devine’s guitar – freshly recorded – on Thursday night as Bobnoxious takes the stage for a benefit concert in his honor. The show aims to raise funds for the movement behind Cindy’s Law.

They will sing the track Sad Songs, taken from the band’s EOA album, a title that makes a nod to the district of East Adelaide in London.

“It will be tough,” Reid said.

The evening at Eastside Bar and Grill will feature a range of bands including Aaron Allen, Brad Gibb All Star Band, Brother Time and Heart Attack Kids. The $10 at the door blanket and an online auction of mostly music and sports-related items are all contributing to the fight to make fire extinguishers mandatory in every car, truck and personal vehicle in Ontario. The campaign, launched by Cindy’s family and friends, also aims to put fire extinguishers in the hands of those who may not be able to afford them.

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Reid has been unable to write new material since Devine’s death. He’s more forgetful and his brain struggles to come up with words, including lyrics, he said.

“That’s what happens to people who have to deal with this stuff. You have triggers for the rest of your life. I could be happy doing something and then, you know – it’s just hard to explain, it hits you and then it’s there. And then I come back and try to force myself to just see her beautiful face instead of remembering it,” he said.

“Hopefully playing Cindy’s guitar will get me through another hurdle.”

Reid and Devine’s husband, Richard, cemented a guitar in a memorial at the crash site. Richard and Devine’s sister feels like family to him now, Reid said. They are bound by pain.

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But he also sees signs of Devine, saying she’s “on my shoulder every day.” She always says hello.

Reid hopes the benefits and the struggle for change will help him move towards recovery.

“I just can’t put it in a closet and close the door. It never works. So I gotta do what we can do and, man, just hope we can make a difference.



What: Fundraising concert and online auction to push for a law requiring fire extinguishers in every vehicle

When: Thursday, 8 p.m.

Or: Eastside Bar and Grill, 750 Hamilton Rd.

Costs: $10 at the door. To donate or bid on online auction items, go to trellis.org/fire-extinguishers-for-cindy-cindys-law


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