I remember after my brother's fatal car accident in April 2010, the story was quickly online for all to read. The morning after my father told me the devastating news that my 16 year old brother had died in a car accident, people began to speculate what had happened. To this day, more than a year after the accident, we do not know exactly what happened to cause this accident that took my brother's life. But that didn't stop complete strangers from voicing their stabs and jabs to the online article appearing less than 24 hours after the accident.
I woke up the morning after only to read thoughts like these:
"check for cell phone"
"most likely texting or cell phone"
"...But I can say that, as of late, the vast majority of similar accidents have been caused by 1) alcohol and/or 2) cellphone/texting. Since alcohol was not a factor, that leaves the later.
Not to mention, the loss of his life could serve as a strong example to others not to replicate or condone such behavior."
I was enraged! I wanted to find these people and shake them. Oh how I wanted to give them a piece of my mind! Do they not realize that family and friends are going to be reading the article and comments? How can people be so inconsiderate?
It seems to me that a lot of times teenagers get a bad rap. Their attitudes stink, they are selfish and shallow, ALL teenagers text and drive, ALL teenagers drink and drive.....the list goes on. And I am sure there are teenagers (and adults) who are guilty of one or all of the above. I am also certain that there are plenty of teenagers who more often than not are smart, level headed, good decision making, helpful and giving community do-gooders. My brother was one of them.
I can't tell you that Martin NEVER texted or talked on his cell phone while driving. That he NEVER made a stupid choice. That he NEVER acted irrationally or selfishly. But who of us, teenager or adult, can answer NEVER to any one of the above? I can not.
What I can tell you is this. Martin was incredibly intelligent. He helped our Mom clean the kitchen on a regular basis. He kept his room organized and spotless. He was thoughtful and giving to his friends. He was independent. He lived a simple life. He liked to play tennis. He listened and absorbed what his Mom and Dad had to say, even if it didn't seem like it at the time.
And his large circle of friends? I have never been more impressed by a group of teenagers. How they came together after their friend died and supported one another and our family. Their thoughtfulness and generosity were comforting. Their love of Martin and actions and reactions after his death were humbling. They held memorials at the beach. They organized bracelets to be made and sold them to raise money to purchase a grand piano in honor of Martin. They came to visit my parents. They dedicated the yearbook to him. They live their lives differently now and took to heart the impact that another person had on their lives. Now that is pretty great, I think!
I can also tell you this. It was confirmed that Martin was NOT on his cell phone at the time of his accident. We found out that he had endured a head injury earlier that day and more than likely lost consciousness while driving. You can read an article about Martin by clicking on the link below.