Yesterday I wrote about a horrific accident that occurred in our town earlier this week. Several people have commented on how much it reminded them of a similar accident that occurred over thirty years ago. I was around eleven years old when it happened and I still remember it. My parents were close friends of the parents of a young woman who was killed in that crash. Dave was good friends with the brother of another one of the victims who died. Thad friend got in touch with me yesterday and with his permission, I am sharing what he wrote to me.
Thank you for posting this, Claire! As I read your blog (and then information about the incident), I realized there were many similarities that occurred a few days ago in Maplewood to a crash that occurred MANY years ago in Maplewood that involved my oldest brother. Some of the similarities are that he was driving a car with 3 close friends (all 4 were graduates from CHS); another young driver, while driving under the influence, drove through a red light at high speed; 2 from my brother’s car died, and two were in critical condition; the other driver was able to walk away from the accident. As difficult this was for my family, I will never forgot how wonderful the ENTIRE community was to us. The outpouring of support from friends, neighbors, the “soccer family”, schools, churches, etc. was beyond belief! I remember the day of the crash as if it were yesterday. I remember the support we received such as the amount of people at the wakes and funeral, the members from my brother’s former teams that would come by the house for years during holidays, the scholarship and memorial events, and little things such as phone calls received just 2 weeks ago (on the anniversary of the accident). I remember at the time of the accident thinking what a great town it was! I do not know the family of those who were involved in the accident a few days ago, and I no longer live in South Orange (although I talk about it all the time). What I do know is that growing up in the South Orange/ Maplewood community was, and still is, such a wonderful, supportive and engaging community. I also know that the support that YOU provide the families of this recent will be remembered by them for the rest of their lives.
There are so many similarities to Tuesday’s accident. I did not know any of the victims of this crash, but my hope is that the families involved know how much love and support they have from our community. There is nothing we can do to turn back time and change the events to what led up to either of these accidents. Mistakes were made and regrets will be carried forever. I don’t know if they will ever see this blog or read the words written by our friend, but if they do, I hope that they can offer them some solace.