Today I went with my daughter and about 15 other teens and a bunch of parents to stand with a friend who was very badly hurt - nearly killed - by a drunk driver on November 18th 2006.
Go here for the first installment and HERE for the next
More HERE and HERE.
I cannot begin to find words to describe sitting there listening to those people's vicitim impact statements.
I cannot imagine how one lives through a cop coming to one's door at 1 a.m. with a wallet and cell phone and the news that your child was killed by a drunk driver.
I cannot imagine how one lives through a child being in a coma for six weeks and that the rest of that child's life will be lived in a wheel chair or how one deals with the "what happens to my child when I'm gone?" part of that story.
I thought, for a second, that I felt sorry for the guy who killed Connor, so badly injured Mike Hagar and who's left John Broadbent with serious emotional scars.
Only for a second though.
See, as Mike's mom so eloquently stated, it is a priviledge to use mind-altering drugs. Along with that priviledge comes RESPONSIBILITY. That means if a person decides they're using alcohol to the point of imparment they have the RESPONSIBILITY to make sure no other person suffers from their drunken state.
The guy who killed Connor got drunk all by himself - he chose that state - but he did nothing at all to protect people.
And he killed a guy, maimed another for life and seriously damaged another guy. And two weeks after that, his FaceBook profile has, as his favourite activites, "Drinking."
And that's not it. Three families are directly, permanently and devastatingly affected.
A HUGE group of friends lost their innocence along with losing a really, really great friend.
A school's population was unalterably changed by this 'accident.'
So no, I don't feel sorry for the driver. He has serious problems. Rumour has it he'd had several previous charges for DWI - seven I've heard. ONE is too many.
Yes, he's going to do jail time. Yes, he's remorseful.
Yes, in a few years, he'll walk out of prison with a fully functioning body and mind. He'll get a job; he might have a wife and he might have children. Yes, he'll probably never forget.
But he'll have a life.
Mike? Unending boredom; loss of freedom entirely; loss of speaking ability; loss of mobility; loss of a best friend; loss of a business; loss of many friends, because they don't know what to say or how to act; probable loss of marriage prospects and children; loss of independence.
Connor's family ...
Nope. No sympathy for the driver. None. He deserves every second of suffering he endures because what he suffers will never, not in a million, billion years equal that of those who by no fault of their own, lost everything.
I wonder how much a taxi would have cost.....
Certainly not that many lives.