A Forsyth County family is mourning the loss of their son and a high school is in shock with the loss of a teen this past weekend. All that is known thus far (as reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) is that the young man, who by all accounts had a bright future ahead, was killed when he apparently crossed Georgia Highway 306 into the opposite lane and crashed into a mailbox.
This terrible accident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning and the authorities have stated that alcohol was not a factor in the accident. The young man will be laid to rest this week. His church community is also devastated by the loss of a young man that was devoted to his faith.
It is very difficult to understand the loss of young life. It is also very difficult to cope with and to manage feelings of loss and anger. We know that one of the most terrible tragedies for a parent is outliving a child. In his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” the author, a theologian, asks this question trying to cope with the death of his 14-year old son. It is a question I face directly and indirectly when representing and supporting the parents of deceased children after an accident in my Gwinnett County injury law practice.
Every family and every parent must come their own conclusion about this through their own lives, their own beliefs and their own healing process. As a counselor at law I can say that there is far too much emotional grief involved in these tragedies to also manage the legal and medical issues that are often also involved.
With regard to teen driving, we all need to remember that new drivers are less experienced drivers and that teens are most at risk for loss of life when behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Every year there are more than 5,000 teens (ages 16-20) who suffer loss of life in vehicle crashes. Weekends are the most vulnerable period of time for these crashes.
Even a fine and well-intended teen, as this young man apparently was, can fall asleep at the wheel due to fatigue or drive too fast for conditions and be unable to safely correct an error. Teens are inexperienced drivers, no matter how competent they can seem. We do not know what happened in this accident, but authorities believe the young man may have over corrected after traveling into the opposite lane of traffic and hit the mail box.
All teens are at a higher-risk to be involved in a fatal crash. And this is made more risky with failures to use seat belts and to drive distracted. Again, there is no evidence that this occurred in the passing of the Forsyth teen.
My work as an injury lawyer is devoted to helping families and victims in need. If you need the support and guidance of legal counsel after an accident, please feel free to contact me personally at my office. I will speak with you at no charge about your legal rights and medical support.