On a rain-swept highway in Bath, N.H. Friday night, a car, driving too fast for conditions, skidded across the highway and collided head-on with a car coming from the other direction. The driver of the out-of-control car was ejected from his vehicle and died instantly. Passengers from both vehicles, none of whom wore seat belts, were scattered across the highway.

New Hampshire State Trooper Mark Suttmeier described the scene as horrific, saying, "There were four bodies in the road and complete destruction of both vehicles." The driver of the second vehicle was thrown into the back seat of her own car by the force of the impact. She was the only person left inside either car. She had been drinking alcohol but was not to blame for the crash, according to police.

Excessive speed and alcohol were causal factors in this unspeakable tragedy. Perhaps an even bigger factor is the near universal belief among young people that they are invincible, and that nothing like this could ever happen to them. It causes us all, when we're young, to often be careless, to ignore safe practices and to take dangerous chances.

Nothing good can be taken from the sad death of this high school senior and the physical and emotional trauma of his friends and family. To our teenagers, though, please don't forget this painful tragedy. You are young, strong but completely vulnerable. You also are the most important person in the world to your family.

Please put on your seat belts, obey traffic laws and remind others to do the same. There's too much at stake for you not too.


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