I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t been somehow affected by some sort of accident or another. Some accidents can’t be avoided. All too many CAN. Saturday night, a 22 year old with a history of reckless driving took to New York’s rt 87, also called the Northway. It’s a beautiful road to drive. But it is NOT the place to drive without regard for those around you. This boy did just that. Excessive speed, improper lane changes, and possibly alcohol combined, and he sent an SUV with four teenagers rolling. The driver of the SUV was a high school senior, and football player. Yes, I said WAS. Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, both 17, died. Two of their friends, Bailey Wind and Matt Hardy, both also 17, are in the hospital and in fairly rough shape. All because someone wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing.
Chris and Deanna were Seniors at Shenendehowa High School, as is Matt. Bailey attends Shaker, which is less than a mile from where I work…. with some of her friends and classmates. At Shen, students came up with the idea of wearing green today (School color) in memory of Chris and Deanna and support of Matt. Tomorrow, the color will be blue for Bailey. (Shaker’s colors are blue and white) My 13 year old daughter wore green today, and will probably wear blue tomorrow when I tell her I saw it being twittered. The students also came up with the idea of a twitter campaign to get Matt and Bailey some words of encouragement from their favorite athletes: Tim Tebow and Missy Franklin. It can’t change what happened, or make the pain both physical and emotional go away, but the boost to moral goes a long way toward getting through. Tonight, Tebow called Matt’s hospital room. We’re still working on Missy Franklin. Thank you, Tim Tebow.
Why are so many people so thoughtless behind the wheel? Two young lives over, families and friends broken hearted, and of course the boy who caused it all was “treated and released.” I will not refer to him as a man, even if he is 22. He did not act like an adult in his choices. “Boy” is the only non-inflammatory term I can think of. Yes, he will have to live with what he’s done, but will he even care? There was a movie about 30 or 35 years ago where part of the sentence of a drunk driver who killed a young girl was to pay her parents one dollar every week for the number of years the girl had lived. He couldn’t send a check once a month, it HAD to be weekly….so he couldn’t forget the life he took. Wonder if the judge this kid faces could get away with doing something like that?
Edited to add: THANK YOU MISSY! She left a message for Bailey, and would still like to talk to her.