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Tragedy painful reminder there are no guarantees

My Opinion
Alan Stewart, Staff Writer

As I write this, three students from South Central Junior-Senior High School are at Louisville hospitals and one other is deceased, the result of a Thursday afternoon car crash east of the tiny town of Elizabeth on S.R. 11 near O’Bannon Road.
Right now, we don’t know why the Honda Accord carrying the students went off the roadway and struck a tree. The car could have been simply too close to the edge of the road, dropped off the edge and the driver overcorrected. The cause could have been speed, mechanical failure, driver inattention, passenger distraction or even a deer or some other critter crossing the road. We just don’t know.
Regardless, once again students in Harrison County ‘ and all of us, really ‘ are reminded of the frailty of life. On Thursday morning, four students left their houses thinking Feb. 16 was going to be like any other day at South Central. Three lived. One didn’t. It’s a sad, sobering reminder that nothing is guaranteed to us. Not the next month, not the next day, not the next hour and not even our next breath.
When tragedy strikes in a car crash like last week’s, we think about other teenagers and young people who have perished on county roadways.
Take South Central, for example. Unfortunately, this isn’t unfamiliar territory for the school. Just a few years ago, in November 2005, 16-year-olds Joshua J. Beanblossom and Alex Simmons lost their lives in a crash on Elizabeth-New Middletown Road. A third passenger, Brett Timberlake, then 15, survived.
There’s a long list of good, young kids from all four Harrison County high schools who are no longer with us, taken from us far too soon as the result of a crash. We wonder if there was some critical decision that could have been made in the seconds before the impact. We also remind ourselves to drive a little slower, take a little more time at the next intersection and be a little more vigilant on the roadways.
As long as this county remains largely rural, and as long as our roads are barely wide enough for two cars, and as long as there are trees, we’re faced with the reality that crashes ‘ fatal crashes, even ‘ are going to happen. All we can really do is pray we’re not the next to go.
That’s why every time you leave your loved ones ‘ even after a fight ‘ to go to work, to the store, to a ballgame, drop them off at school, whatever and wherever, you hug/kiss them good-bye and tell them you love them.
Because nothing is guaranteed.