A tragic reminder

Published 8:00 pm Friday, June 25, 2004

By Staff
Our View
It seems to happen at least once or twice every year. No matter where, no matter the season, no matter the community, it happens.
At least once a year, a young driver dies in a car accident.
As Atmore's newspaper, we take on the solemn duty to report on them when they happen here.
We always try to walk that fine line between respecting the tender emotions of friends and family at that moment and our duty to report what happens in our community.
This past weekend, the Atmore community lost a bright young man in an automobile accident. And we reported on the story in a manner we believed to respect the dignity of family and friends while still informing the larger community.
No journalist relishes those kinds of stories, but we know they are part of our calling.
The Alabama Highway Patrol has not released the cause of this recent accident, and we won't speculate here. But to the parents of our children in Atmore, we present some sobering numbers to consider.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration:
In 2002, 8,278 15- to 20-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes.
In the same year, 324,000 15-to 20-year-olds were injured in auto accidents.
Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for 15-to 20-year-olds.
There are so many ways one can lose control of a vehicle or otherwise become involved in a serious automobile accident, regardless of age or ability.
But loss in a traffic fatality when it involves one of our sons or daughters is especially hard to deal with. Though it is a dark expression, it is true: no parent wants to outlive their children.
We simply urge all of Atmore's parents to talk to their children about taking all precautions they can while on the road, and set an example of cautious driving themselves.
It won't prevent all accidents, but in times like this, it would do us all well to remember that accidents can happen, and they can happen to any one of us.
Our hearts at the Atmore Advance go out to the families who have lost their young members in such unexpected and heart-breaking ways.

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