It was a strange experience for me to see my mother on the 10 o'clock news last night on our local Fox station, channel 6. But there she was nonetheless. The situation that got her there was a tragic auto accident that happened on Friday around 6:30 PM that left four bodies and a mangled mess of a car on my grandfather's front lawn.
The car had been speeding along W. Morgan Avenue around 67th St. when the driver hit a curb, lost control and crashed into a tree. They rolled at least three times according to police before finally coming to rest inches before the flagpole my grandfather has had in his front yard for years. On impact all of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle. One of them, an 18-year old, was killed instantly. Clearly none of them had seat belts on, and there's a strong indication as well that alcohol may have been a contributing factor, as beer cans were scattered all around the scene of the crash.
What concerns me is the reckless abandon with which teens continue to pursue their lives. Tragedies like this are a dime a dozen, and this is a story that has been told time and time again. Things like this do not have to happen.
I'm quite aware that kids are going to be kids, and I think we can all certainly relate to the feeling of invincibility that goes along with being young. Yet that still doesn't make it okay. It doesn't take away from the pain the mother of that 18-year old that died will feel for the rest of her life, knowing that her son will not be there anymore.
Hopefully this tragic moment serves as a reminder and saves a couple extra lives. Kids are going to at least think about it. Talk about it. Some will give a second thought before drinking and driving, or perhaps even speeding recklessly. And maybe they'll also see the importance of wearing a seat belt. Perhaps the 18-year old would have survived had he been wearing one at the time of the crash.
This story serves as a wake up call. Unfortunately though, the effect will only be temporary, and therein lies the real tragedy. This story will undoubtedly be told again.
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