When a nice, popular kid dies in a single car crash, how does it affect his fellow students? The Denton, TX, ISD is dealing with that very issue today. Ryan White, 18, died when his truck went over the center line and struck a tractor. Denton ISD officials announced that grief counselors would be present at Aubrey High School in Denton County Monday to help students.
I remember being a junior in high school and one of our fellow students was killed during the end of the school year very close to the end of the school year. I don't believe we had grief counselors at that time (1978-1979). Even though I was not very close to her, I can still remember to this day where she was coming from and the fact that she was killed in a collision. In fact, just about every time I read about a high school student killed in a car wreck I think about my fellow classmate.
I note that none of the reports I read on the internet state the believed cause of the collision. Why does someone cross the centerline? We can think of many things but usually it comes down to either driver error or truck malfunction. Driver error usually involves some form of distracted driving.
Now instead of enjoying the last few months of school, Ryan's classmates will have to work through the emotional issues of losing a fellow classmate, a friend. Grief counselors can certainly help the situation but we can all only imagine what is going on at school for those that truly cared about Ryan and his family.
Not that I am searching for blame but Ryan's friends that he talks to on his cell phone, if he even had one, know who he was talking to or texting mid-morning on Good Friday. If you were on a conversation or texting Ryan at that time, please speak up so others will know that a possible cause of his death was distracted driving related to a cellphone.
We must continue to discuss the dangers of distracted driving so other schools and classmates don't have to suffer through the loss of one of their friends and so that families don't have to suffer through this type of horrific loss.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the White family.
Drive Safe – X THA TXT
Say No to Distracted Driving
Jeff Weinstein, Dallas injury lawyer