Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham
I hate to be right on these kinds of things.
When I first heard word late Wednesday night that there had been a fatal car accident on Va. 612 near the Crimora Community Center, my first thought was, It had to be a teen-ager.
I lived most of my life in Crimora, and went to school at the building that is now the community center, so I know the area there pretty well. And since the initial report had said that the driver of the car had lost control going around a curve at a high rate of speed, well, it wasn’t that hard to put two and two together.
And then the word came down Thursday afternoon that it had indeed been a teen who was driving, that alcohol appears to have played a role in the accident, and …
Except for the part about alcohol being involved, there but for the grace of God go I, is what I’m thinking right now.
The driver is 18 – and as much as I want to browbeat the kid, I was 18 once, and honestly, I had no business being on the road 95 percent of the time.
I used to tear up the back roads between Crimora and Waynesboro and Staunton – there have to be hundreds of miles of roads between where I grew up and the rest of civilization.
Speed was no limit – as the three speeding tickets that I had on my record (thankfully, long since expunged) would attest.
I’m sure there are responsible teen drivers out there, so I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush. But I know that I wasn’t one back in the day, and I’d be willing to bet that I’m not the only adult type reading this column who could admit to that now if pressed.
I’m reminded of the Travis Tritt song from way back when, Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof, in reference to this. We all felt that way at that age, that we were invincible, and that no matter what there would be tomorrow and another tomorrow and another tomorrow after that.
Well, that’s obviously not always the case.
I wish I could get that message across to kids today who, like I did once, drive like they don’t have a care in the world.
If only we could do that, right? Make kids understand what we couldn’t understand when we were their age?
Try as we might, that kind of thing is never, ever going to happen.
And unfortunately, I’m right about that, too.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.