I am reading the posts all over the internet regarding the accident yesterday on Lewis Road in Royersford, PA. What a tragedy. So many lives were altered in an instant. A young mother is gone. A young man's life will never be the same. The ripple effects go from there.....families, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, the entire community.
What struck me the most is the lynch mob mentality on both sides which insued. The wounds are raw and the blame game starts. Sides are drawn and justice is demanded. Its just a vicious cycle seen so many times in tragic accidents.
As a resident less than a half a mile from the accident and a mother in her early forties, this made me think of so many things. What if it had been me? What if it were my teenager who hit the woman? Perspective changes everything.
People want justice. It's human nature. But when can an accident just be that, an terrible ACCIDENT? Not the fault of the township for sidewalks, not the fault of the jogger, not the fault of the cell phone companies for making them, not the fault of the driver for being 18.
One thing is certain, there is a beautiful life taken from us. I didn't know Merinda Thompson, but I'm sure she was an amazing person. We should greive and take steps to make sure this does not happen again. How do we do this and unite the community rather than divide it?
I thing we can also all agree that this young man did not intentionally want to strike her. Was he texting or doing something else he was not supposed to while driving? We may never know. But I ask you this.....have you ever looked at your phone while driving, spilled a cup of coffee, handed your kids food in the backseat and it spilled, switched a CD, reached for your purse or briefcase in the backseat, dropped your cell phone or change and tried to get it? All these things take your eyes off of the road. In a split second, anything can heappen. Add to that the inexperience of an 18 year old on the road and in life in general.....it multiplies the odds for something happening.
We were all young and foolish once. Some of us still are. I see so many ADULTS who drive after drinking at a restaurant or party, talk on their phone or text, speed because they are late, put on makeup, yell at their kids in the backseat or eat a completely inappropriate meal while driving (I once saw someone eating soup!). Many are never involved in an accident. So, they continue this behavior. They just never get caught. Does it make them any better?
My last thought is for the 18 year old. People want him in jail for the rest of his life. Will that really fix the problem? I feel that so many young people chose wrong paths because as adults we label them as "good" or "bad". I've seen first hand young people turning to gangs, drugs or alcohol or even suicide when they are shunned by their family, friends and community for mistakes they have made. I am not saying there should not be consequences for bad behaviors. I'm just saying their should be compassion and understanding too.
Peace and love to Royersford as we grieve and heal.