OUI – A Cautionary Tale

As you may have read from previous posts, I’m about to enter my senior year of high school, something that I am both excited and apprehensive about. On one hand, I can already tell from this summer that senior year is going to be a ton of fun and/or a rip-roaring good time. However, I also realize that the lengthy college application process and AP exams will temper the fun with an experience similar to belly-flopping into a swimming pool of Jell-o (painful). The college application process in particular will do wonders in helping me achieve spiritual and physical separation from my money and free time.  But that’s all in the near future. Right now it’s the end of summer, and the respite from the world of sleep deprivation and #2 pencils has been a welcome change.

So if life’s so peachy, why the title? Well, I’d like to talk about something close to home that occurred recently. About a week ago, three teens crashed an SUV into a utility pole a few miles from where I live. The driver lost control of the car, which rolled over after impact, ejecting one of the three passengers. The driver was trapped in the car, but otherwise fine; the front seat passenger was ejected from the car, but miraculously suffered only minor abrasions; the passenger in the backseat suffered serious injury and was moved to intensive care, where he is now recovering. The driver of the car is currently facing OUI charges.   

This is just one accident in a string of OUI incidents to occur in the town where I live, one involving a death of a passenger about a year ago. What made this one personal for me was that I go to school with the kids in the car. They’re in my graduating class; I sat next to one in Latin, and I played baseball in 8th grade with the passenger who was injured. It’s heartwarming to see the response and support my peers have given to the injured passenger and his family, and I think that closeness says more about our town than the accident did. There will always be mistakes in everyone’s life, but the ability of a community to support one another through them is always more important.

Risky behavior is a dilemma that no amount of police money or lack of personal insurance will solve. In the past week I have heard everything from sympathy to outright condemnation of the accident. For me though, the incident is a lesson in mortality and fragility. As a teen, you think that you are invincible, that nothing can go wrong, and in the comfortable surroundings of a small town you’ve spent years in, that isn’t a hard notion to conceive. But the fact is that we are all mortal, we are all fragile, and tragedies strike when we forget that.

Corbin F.

www.agordon.com

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