Friday, October 10, 2014

16 forever

As sure as the leaves turn gold around here every autumn, death comes early to young people as the result of car wrecks.  Last weekend, it was the deaths of two young men from Bel Air High School, two guys in a Mitsubishi that slammed into a tree on Mount Vista Rd after midnight early Saturday, that had the community saddened.

This should not have to happen
And there is a memorial site at the base of the tree, and the news showed their classmates crying at the site and laying flowers and mementoes there.

And the young men, both 16, identified as Marvin Eudiel Hernandez and Ryan Thomas Harris will, as Neil Young put it, "never get to fall in love, never get to be cool."  Two young lives lost to the pitfall of some sort of driving mistake.

How to prevent this?  Obviously, no one has figured that out. Sure, we trot out all the cliches about kids believing they are invincible, and we hand out fliers about safe motoring in Driver Education classes, and we pass laws that say 16-year-olds can't drive after midnight and can't have teenaged passengers, and that hasn't seemed to work so far.

Maybe the best approach would be fewer cliches and fliers and Desi Arnaz driver ed crash movies and laws.

Maybe if we sat down and talked straight to young people and reminded them of the consequences of bad driving, someone would hear us.

If it only saves one life, we're ahead already.


Mary Jo Newman said...

So very sad. My son went to the funeral parlor yesterday and is going to Ryan's funeral mass today. My son and Ryan's father are friends. We also have a 16 year old grandson and I can't imagine the pain his family is going through.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it seems most kids and adults alike have to experience the "what if" too close for comfort before taking the rules seriously. I don't think that teens really believe they're invincible but they are certainly naïve to believe these things "won't happen to me". More parents need to lead by example and live by the mantra that it's better to be safe than sorry - Only calculated risks and acceptance of the worse-case scenario. Everything happens for a reason and this tragedy will hopefully send a message to other young drivers - at least those at Belair High. Both of these families and the families of Belair High are in my prayers.