Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It Could Happen Anywhere

But it Happened in Las Vegas

Today's post is a somber one. The holidays are coming up and we need to be mindful of the responsibilities we have not only to ourselves but to our families and to innocent people who can be harmed by us as the result of careless behavior. Each year more cars crowd onto our highways and city streets. Congestion causes anxiety that leads to road rage and other acts that we would probably not do in a more rational state.

In 2004 a driver in Las Vegas decided to drive her SUV after she had taken medication. It was early morning and children waited for buses alongside workers, all of whom huddled together in a bus shelter. In the blink of an eye the SUV jumped the curb and took out the bus shelter and those inside it, killing four people who could have not been more innocent. The dead included a brother and sister ages 14 and 16, another 16 year old boy and a woman of 36. The district attorney's office did not press DUI charges against the driver because they felt there was insufficient evidence to prove she was under the influence at the time of the crash.

Let's tally up the victims in this crash: the four who lost their lives, the parents who will never see their children graduate, marry, or have children, the family of the woman who was killed lost a mother, wife, aunt, and friend, and even the children of the driver of the vehicle who must live with the stigma that their mother killed four people. And lastly the driver. She must live with the burden of having taken four lives.

On the onset of this holiday season I ask my readers to not drive if you are impaired, and if you are with somebody who is impaired, take their car keys and call a cab for them. It is a small price to pay for the potential lives that can be destroyed.

Dr. Forgot

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