Monday, September 10, 2007

It happened all over again. Why?

This morning's local news is filled with the horror of a car crash in Moncton which took the lives of 4 young boys on Saturday night. Around 11 pm, it appears that they decided to pass a car filled with 3 of their female friends in a non-passing section of the road while heading up a hill. They hit a pick up truck head on. All 4 occupants died at the scene of the accident. All witnessed by the three girls driving in the car they were trying to pass. It is tragic on all levels, mostly because it is completely senseless and completely avoidable.

4 Grade 11 students, all from the same High School are gone before they could reach the beginning of the prime of their lives, leaving families, friends and a neighbourhood devasted beyond comprehension. It strikes a chord of fear in every parent's heart. It hits close to home. I can't imagine. I can't imagine.

This type of tragedy happens all too often. I'm sure most of us knows someone from our adolescent years who was killed in a senseless car accident. I think this is partially why when another occurs, we quickly react with a visceral moaning of our hearts because it brings back the loss and confused grieving we felt then. And yet, I can't imagine. As a parent of a daughter who has just started high school this year, I have found another level of shuddering, knowing full well how I have no real control over her safety in many situations she will find herself in during her adolescent years. I can talk with her about making good decisions, of thinking through actions. I can help her arm herself with a level head. But, really is it enough?

I'll never forget the funeral of a friend (the first funeral I had ever attended) whom I had just hugged a hello one Christmas many years ago. We had all congregated at our local watering hole.......reuniting after finishing the first semester of university to celebrate homecoming and the Christmas season. I had bumped into my friend on the way into the pub as he was leaving with his best friend to go pick up another. It was the last we ever saw of him. He was a brilliant person full of zestful exhuberance who made us all laugh and dance with him. I often wonder what mountains he would've climbed.

16 years old. Is this really old enough to be out driving with a bunch of friends? Do hormones and the inability to SEE consequences blind them from making sound decisions? Think of all of the stupidly inane decisions you made then..........of all of the situations you found yourself in where you had put yourself in danger? Did you ever get into a car with a bunch of friends only to realize that the person behind the wheel was a unthinking risk taker? I swear, we are just lucky to have made it through these years alive.

My heart goes out to the families, friends, students and teachers who are left behind asking many many questions today. Tears will flow........tributes will take place but their lives have been altered in one instant. Their loss is our loss.

Senseless loss.......revisited.


Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

I look back at some of the dangerous situations I was in as a teen and thank God for surviving. I'm not so sure that driving at 16 is a good idea -- in our state they've made it more stringent (no driving at night in the beginning, no driving other youth unless it's a brother or sister). Such a deeply sad loss when a young person leaves this world. xx, JP/deb

K said...

Sensless loss is just that...and I have experienced a little too much of it over the past few years.

But I know that age doesn't really mean anything. There are risk takers I know that would do that in their 20s and 30s. It's really about the person, and not so much the age.

Matthew said...

I agree with Jane Poe about risk-taking and personal experiences. I've often talked with my wife and others about stupid risks we have taken and the luck or grace involved to see us through. Knowing my past behavior and what I've witnessed I'm actually surprised to not see more tragic news. Of course that is little consolation in the face of an event so tragic.
Bumping the age to 18 couldn't hurt though. Maybe some of the risk-taking behavior can be moved from the road.