This is one of those inevitable truths in the world; we can do everything in our power to be safe on the road, but there is always the variable known of “other drivers.” This lesson hit home recently when the news broke about the young St. Petersburg resident who was killed when another driver raced through a red light.
The 22-year-old had gone on an innocent date with her boyfriend and was in route to her home when the vehicle that she was riding in was side-swiped. Her boyfriend, who survived the crash, was driving his small sedan with the young woman in the passenger seat. He continued through the intersection when the light turned green and never saw the other car coming until it was too late.
The oncoming pick-up truck was being operated by a 49-year-old man who had been partaking in a little too much alcohol. The man made the poor choice of climbing behind the wheel while buzzed. He ran the red light for unknown reasons and smashed into the side of the sedan. The impact was enough to kill the young passenger, but wasn’t enough to stop the intoxicated individual. The pick-up truck was seen speeding away from the scene and, fortunately, the police were able to catch up to the him not far from the accident. He was charged with DUI manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, and leaving the scene of an accident, among other offenses. In fact, included on that list was battery to a law enforcement officer, as he resisted arrest for several minutes before being placed in custody.
The man suffered minor injuries and was treated and released into police custody that same day. The young woman’s boyfriend was admitted to the local medical facility for injuries suffered in the crash, but was expected to be released shortly. Meanwhile, the young woman’s family is left to mourn the loss of a loved one, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This could have been anyone’s child, friend, or girlfriend. The fact of the matter is that we are taking a risk simply by being on the road. Whether driving or riding in a passenger’s seat, we assume some level of danger simply for being in the motor vehicle. We must rely on others to act responsibly, but we all know that there are people who just don’t take this risk seriously.
This story is simply heartbreaking. The young woman, who resided right here in St. Petersburg, will not be able to reach her full potential because her life was cut short by the irresponsibility of another person. It is a reminder, though, that the roads are full of other drivers who may not be taking the responsibility of driving as seriously as you are. You can never tell when another driver might do something stupid, might be under the influence, or may fail to abide by traffic laws.
Be sure that you are doing everything in your power to drive safely … and defensively. Do your best to anticipate the actions of other drivers. If you are involved in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney, so you are sure to get the monetary compensation that you deserve for the losses suffered.