11/22/06 — Slow down: A year after accident, drivers should remember

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Slow down: A year after accident, drivers should remember

Doug Thomas can’t drive by Greenwood Middle School without thinking about the day a careless driver hit his little boy and his friend as they crossed the street on their way to school.

And although his family has been through a lot, Doug took the time to let his community know how Carson was doing and to ask a favor of those who travel Wayne County’s roadways.

He wants us all not to be in such a rush.

And maybe you might be the one person who isn’t — a driver who slows for yellow and never speeds to make up lost time on a busy morning that begins with a late start. If that is true, then share this message with someone you know needs to hear it.

But for the rest of us, Doug’s request is a sobering reminder of what can happen when you take your mind off safety — just for a moment.

Carson is doing well. He might not be the same young man who went to Greenwood Middle that day, but his family says his spirit and his personality are shining through.

And that is a small miracle worth celebrating on this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Carson’s family should know that their struggles are remembered in the prayers and the thoughts of many Wayne County residents. There are not many people who do not know the story of Carson and his friend, Mackenzie Wessels, and wonder how they are faring. They are both examples of bravery and courage in the face of great odds.

But a year after the accident, many of us might have forgotten just how quickly a simple drive can turn into a tragedy, just with a diversion or moment of irresponsibility.

Driving too fast along Ash Street — and many people still do; turning to answer a cell phone or making a call; taking attention off the road to fiddle with the radio or to fix your makeup — all those are potential first steps to a tragedy.

So, as we mark the anniversary of the accident that changed the Thomas family forever, we can do them the honor of helping them achieve their wish that something like this will never happen to another family.

And achieving that goal is worth waiting to make a call or getting a tardy at work.

Published in Editorials on November 22, 2006 10:28 AM