Saturday, November 22, 2008

Death Sentence for Two, Make That Three

Killed in the wreck were Damien, 14, and Angela, 13.

So you just enjoyed a great time with your family at the NBA game. You're driving home, and sure you "had a few" at the game, but you're fine to drive. A few miles up the road you realize that you were wrong. You pull over, after all the kids are in the car, to let your wife drive. Or was it to urinate like the police reports say? Either way, you stop your car on the interstate. No you didn't turn on your hazard lights, but you're clear over on the dirt shoulder, partly anyway.

You get out of the car and watch an SUV plow into the rear end of you family sedan without ever slowing down.

What do you do? How do you react?

Frantic 911 calls from the scene report that the driver of the sedan, the step-father, looks into the car to see his children are dead. The SUV is on top of where the trunk used to be and it has encroached into the rear seat killing the teens. Upon seeing his dead children, the step-father reportedly approaches the SUV and beats the driver into a coma. Multiple witnesses say that the second driver never left his vehicle and was struck 50 - 150+ times by the dad, while seat-belted behind the wheel.

The second driver never regained consciousness and died from his injuries.

Both drivers were found to be over their state's legal limit for DUI. Both families grieve the loss of loved ones. Dad is going to prison. Mom and the family of the other driver are paying the high cost of this tragic incident.

I don't use the word accident when it comes to crashes where one or more parties are intoxicated because it is a choice. It is no accident when a person consumes alcohol and gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, it's a decision that we all know could result in death.

How many of these stories will I have to see play out in my lifetime? How many people I know will be affected by DUI/DWAI? How many more lives will I have to see devastated by their own or another's reckless disregard for personal and public safety?

The reason I write this blog is to let everyone know that it CAN happen to you. It CAN happen to someone you know or someone you love. But we CAN ALL change our personal behaviours to keep our roads safer. Call a cab, ride the bus, call a friend or don't drink if you have to drive. You can save a life with the choices you make.

Remember these three the next time you are faced with a decision about whether you really should be behind the wheel. Vigilante justice happens, don't put yourself at risk. Consider what the second driver would have had to live with had he survived.

Please keep yourselves happy, healthy and safe.


Steven Elliott said...

Wow, what a powerful story, and you have a way of telling it so engagingly. It is obvious that you are a blessing to everyone you encounter. Thank you for your efforts to preserve the lives of our precious loved ones.

Susana said...

Hi. I thought you might be interested in the blog that I started a few months ago.

You will find links to a song that I wrote called "fun in a bottle" sung on youtube by Sarah McHugh. You'll also find a slideshow of anti-dui posters, and t-shirts for sale at cost.

Take care,