16 June 2007

Very Sad, But Very Angry

This entire situation is very sad.

I feel horrible for these families. Not having children, I cannot imagine the grief of losing your child. When I do have children, I am not sure even then I could imagine the grief of losing a child.

When I was a teenager, I was a “good” kid. I never drank, smoke, did drugs. Never. Ever. I really didn’t do too many “stupid” things.

But a few of my friends did.

These children made stupid mistakes. Horrible mistakes. 4 of them did not live through the mistakes they made. 2 did.

I feel horrible for all the children. I feel horrible for the families.

But it is NOT the fault of Union Pacific. The crossing met federal regulations. The government has policies for intersections and this intersection had what it needed to.

These children were out at 3 in the morning in a stolen car.


One of the children was only 12. At that age, I had to be home when it was dark. I would never have dreamed of being out joyriding at 3 in the morning in a stolen car. Never. At twelve (approx 7th grade for me), I was still in bed by 9'ish. Not out at 3 in the morning in stolen car.

When I watch the families screaming at the Union Pacific representative, I feel bad for everyone. I feel bad for the father’s grief. The grandfather’s grief. I feel bad for the UP guy – what could he say?

The children were out at 3 in the morning in a stolen car. Speeding.

They couldn’t stop in time. They didn’t see the train. Whatever. Who knows?

What I do know, is it was a stupid mistake that kids make.

I read once that you really don’t know “how” to drive until you’ve been driving for a while. It’s true. When I come to a railroad crossing – even with the railroad arms – I still look both ways. If it’s between me and a train – the train is going to win.

The driver of this car was not a licensed driver. All of the passengers (except one) were under driving age. At 15, you don't know how to handle the car, you don't know how to handle a railroad intersection. You probably aren't noticing the markings on the road. Hell, you haven't even been through driver's education yet.

Nothing has come out about who stole the car. I suppose it doesn’t matter. It was stolen and out at three in the morning. When you factor all this in – stuff like this happens. It shouldn’t have happened. These kids should have been safe and sound at home, in bed, sound asleep.

Give your kids an extra hug tonight. Try and teach them (regardless of age) about making decisions. Teach them right and wrong. That’s what my parents did for me. I would have known that was a wrong thing to do.

May God Bless every single one of these people affected by this.


Jane said...

Oh, how hideous. I cannot imagine how it must feel. The ONLY good thing about Toots being hospitalized, as Lew and I have said to each other, is that we know where she is and that she is safe.

TxGambit said...

As the mom of a 13 yr old and an 11 yr old (and a 5 but this is about the teen yrs).... This story just scared me.

I'm so sad all the way around.

Jessica said...

Great post! My heart breaks for these families. I really felt bad for the railroad rep, too. It would be great if there were lights and a gate, but he's not responsible for that...TxDot is. Besides, as you mentioned, the driver wasn't even old enough to have a license. It seems as though the fact that this car was stolen is glossed over a bit in the media. I can understand the father wanting to lash out at someone, and I was surprised he wasn't lashing out at the driver. I can't imagine the boy that was driving having to live with the fact that he killed his brother and three of his friends. It's so tragic. There are just no words!

AJsMom said...

I agree with you TOTALLY! There seems to be no personal responsibility taken in this...I am sure those kids would have still hit the train even if there had been railroad arms down. I will be VERY upset if Union Pacific ends up taking all of the heat for this tragedy. With all of the horrible tragedies taking place with kids over the past few months, my husband has started a new campaign -- "Quick! Where's your toddler!" We as parents have GOT to be more responsible for knowing what our children are up to -- no matter how old they are.

BTW - Great visiting with you on Saturday. I posted some pictures that we discussed.

Heather said...

I do feel for these families. It is so sad, but I feel for everyone else involved, too. My nieces are 15 and 13. I can't imagine them sneaking out at ll hours like that. Not only do they know the diffeerence between right and wrong, but they know the consequences if they do wrong. Many kids know what is wrong, but they know they won't be punished or will just get a slap on the wrist.
This is not UP's fault. It seems that all of the locals there know that trains stop on the tracks and that is exactly why we have drivers ed. People today are too quick to defend their kids and look for another scapegoat or excuse.
What a sad series of events.