Two days ago, there was a tragic accident in our town. A 20 year old drunk driver was speeding down a residential street and hit a car that had four residents in it. Two of them died at the scene after being ejected from the car. The other two are in serious condition at a nearby hospital. According to news reports, they were not wearing seat belts. One of the passengers that died was a student at our local high school. There was a vigil held this evening for the boys and their families.
I am not writing this to accuse the drunk driver, or to put blame on the passengers who were not wearing their seat belts. It seems like there were a lot of “what ifs” and mistakes made that could have prevented this from happening. I don’t want this to turn into a forum for people to accuse and place blame. I just want to offer my sympathy to all of those involved. I am keeping them in my prayers. All of them, and people who knew them, will be changed by this incident.
There was a suggestion to put the car on the lawn of the high school to remind students of the dangers of drinking and driving. Some might think that might not get much of a response, but with it so fresh in everyone’s mind, perhaps it will create an emotional response that will make an impression on these young students.
It is really hitting close to my heart, because on Tuesday, DJ will begin his driving lessons. I will give him plenty of reminders to be safe and aware while he is on the road. I want him to know that I trust him, but sadly there are other drivers on the road that are not careful and he needs to be mindful of this at all times. I am sure all parents of new drivers go through this and are apprehensive at first but we have to trust that our children will make the right choices and decisions when they begin to drive.
I hope that all drivers, (new and experienced) remember to NEVER drive when they have been drinking and to ALWAYS wear their seat belt. I don’t know if a seat belt could have saved the lives of these two young men, I guess we will never know, but sadly, a lesson can be learned from it and I hope that DJ and his friends who will all be getting their permits and licenses soon will keep this incident in the back of their minds and realize how important it is.
A local group in town is collecting funds on behalf of the families to help them pay for funeral costs and hopefully relieve some of the stress and anxiety on them at this time. If you would like to help, here is a link