I haven't blogged in a while. Sometimes "life" just gets in the way and I don't have time. But Sundays seem to be good times to blog and this week, here's what's on my mind.
Last week, on Thursday, St. Patrick's day, there was a fatal accident just down the road from my house. This happened on a road we travel every single day, at a time when it would have been entirely possible for one of us to be on the road. In fact, I drove Hannah to school that day for a test along that road. Jeff rode his bike to work, but, thankfully, takes a different route. Arlie, unfortunately, was on the bus, which passed right by the accident and so she saw more than she should have had to.
Here's what happened - a 31-year-old man, drunk and possibly under the influence of drugs, was driving erratically down the highway at a very high rate of speed, when he crossed the center line and crashed into a car driven by a 62-year-old man who died at the scene. The accident scene was horrible (I only saw it in pictures, I can't imagine how awful it was for Arlie to see it in person!), with one car flipped over and the other horribly smashed in, missing one entire tire/wheel, and with debris strewn all over the highway.
This guy, a local resident, made the decision to drive without a license, under the influence, and he killed someone. An innocent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I cannot understand this and it happens all the time. First of all, who is drunk and under the influence of drugs at 7 a.m.? Someone with a very serious problem - clearly, this guy was an addict and had already been involved in prior drug convictions and had his license taken away. Yet, he still drove and he killed someone. How does one go on after such an incident? How do you keep living when you kill someone by your own hand and your own choices? How is it any different than pulling the trigger or plunging a knife into a person? "Vehicular manslaughter" is what they call it. Manslaughter, not murder. How is it any different? Is it different because this guy "didn't set out to hurt anyone?" I don't think so. He made choices. He's an addict, sure, but he made the choice to take the first drink or smoke the first joint or take the first drug. He made the choice to drive without a license. And by his own hand and his own choices, he killed a man. And he gets to live. It's not right.
Later that night, we went to Dairy Queen. The accident happened right in front of DQ. The ground shimmered like frost but we all knew it was broken glass - shattered with an impact so extreme the glass settled in a sparkly powder along the road. Just hours before, a man died there. And life went on. Cars sped by, we ate ice cream. It seemed so sad. That guy didn't wake up saying "I'm going to be killed in a horrible car accident today." But he was. And it could have been any one of us senselessly killed by a stupid, selfish person. It just wasn't right. There was no indication, save for the glass, of an accident. No sign saying "a man died here today". Nothing.
I drove by today and there were flowers. Just a few bouquets, leaning against a pole. A small reminder of a big problem. Please don't drink and drive, do drugs and drive, drive drowsy, drive buzzed, drive and text or drive distracted. Because it only takes a second and lives change forever.