10/12/10 — Lesson to learn: Details or charges notwithstanding, deaths were avoidable, tragic loss

View Archive

Lesson to learn: Details or charges notwithstanding, deaths were avoidable, tragic loss

The only thing worse than losing a child is losing one in a situation that could have been prevented.

And while, for now, we do not know the details of exactly what happened early Sunday morning that led to the deaths of two local teenagers and a 25-year-old man and put a third teen in the hospital, we know for sure that this likely was a crash that could have been avoided.

Our hearts go out to the families who now must go on without their loved ones. The pain they must be feeling must be unbearable.

But there is a lesson to be learned from this tragedy -- and one high school students and others across Wayne County should remember as they prepare for not only more school events and dances, but parties and other gatherings as well.

Speed kills, and seat belts save lives.

The only young person alive in the hospital right now is the one who was wearing a seat belt. And investigators have already determined that excessive speed caused the car to veer out of control.

We do not know for sure what role alcohol played in this crash -- investigators will determine that.

But we know that there is a concern that perhaps that might have been a factor. That is reason enough to remind every resident of Wayne County with a driver's license that you should not, absolutely without a doubt, no matter who you are, be behind the wheel after drinking. And add to that another caveat -- do not get into a car if you know the driver has been drinking, and take the keys.

If we learn those lessons from this terrible tragedy -- and many others like it -- perhaps we won't have to mourn another life ended much too early.

Published in Editorials on October 12, 2010 10:40 AM