Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tragedy Repeats Itself

A few days ago, our town experienced a very upsetting fatal accident. I say "our town" even though I realize that corporately we can not experience it to the extent the family of those who died are suffering. But we are all disturbed.

A 16 year old girl was driving with her 89 year old grandmother as a passenger. We had had a spell of bad weather, and they hit an icy spot on the road. The girl lost control of the car, crashed through a guard rail, and drove straight through into the river. A moderately sized river snakes through our community, and in many spots it isn't more than a few feet deep. But we have had some crazy rains lately, and on Sunday the river was swollen and flowing quickly. There were a lot of witnesses, and some even jumped into the cold water to help them escape the car, but there was nothing they could do.

So, on Saturday, a family will bury their only child and their mother. The funeral will be at the Catholic church, and some of the girl's friends will perform at the ceremony. Kids have set up a Face Book page in honor of the girl, and it is all so sad.

I will not attempt to make this about me. I don't even know the family. But the girl shared my own 16-year-old daughter's birthday, and that single fact causes me to suck back a few tears. I also can't help but remember back to my own childhood when my 16-year-old friend died in a car accident, and her funeral was held at the Catholic church, and my high school orchestra performed at the service.

I would prefer these circumstance not be repeated generation to generation. But tragedies happen on this planet, and all we can do corporately is sympathize and weep and treasure our own families that much more.


lynn said...

Terrible story, Robyn. My sympathies to that family. Really.
How come a 16 year old was driving, can i ask? It's 17 in the UK. I'm not implying it was her fault of course i'm just curious.
They say there's a reason for everything but i'm struggling to find one, here. Sad, very sad.

Robyn said...

16 is the legal age in Ohio. Both of my girls have put it off for a year. I think 16 is a bit young, although I don't blame this on the girl either. The roads were bad, and sometimes there is just nothing you can do when you hit a patch of ice.

dive said...

We were talking about this on email and it reminded me of something, Robyn.

A song by The Handsome Family. Renee Sparks' lyrics about a very similar accident and how detached one can get around tragedies.

Here are the words:
The Snow White Diner

I am sitting eating hashbrowns in the Snow White Diner.
Outside, cars are honking.
Flashing lights on the bridge.
They’re pulling a car up from the bottom of the frozen lake.
A woman drove her Saturn into the black water.
Killed herself and her two kids strapped in the back seat.
She’d lost her job and didn’t want the kids to be poor.
The diner is noisy.
Black coffee and sugar.
Baskets of dinner rolls.
Outside, the crowd is growing,
Waiting by the drawbridge, hoping to see the dead woman’s face.
In the booth next to me, there are two old women eating liver and onions.
They’re laughing too loud and banging the tabletop, but then I see that they’re deaf.
I don’t know why they’re laughing.
Maybe the world’s much nicer if you can’t hear the cars.
They make me feel better, like I’m drunk on a plane and have forgotten I’m afraid to fly.

Robyn said...

"Maybe the world’s much nicer if you can’t hear the cars." A fascinating line. "Maybe the world's much nicer if you can't _______." We could fill in the blank with a lot of things, I guess.

dive said...

Hmm … Too many to mention, I think.

Sassy Sundry said...

Ouch. That's horrible. One of my schoolmates died in a horrible accident when I was in high school. It was horrible.

Lynn, aside from a few permit rules, sixteen is the legal driving age in the US.

RICH said...

it does make you want put your arms around your kids and loved one's and not let go. I feel we live in such a disposable society that things like this happen now and we forget much too soon.