Originally created 10/31/00

Notes community members fight driver recklessness Aiken area 103100 - The Augusta Chronicle

Regarding the recent letter by the father of a young man who was a passenger in a Jeep driven by young John Peacock that was involved early morning Oct. 1 in an accident on Gray Mare Hollow Road in Aiken County:

Mr. Peacock was killed and the other three occupants, though not wearing seat belts, walked away. This accident was senseless, tragic and avoidable and we all grieve for the loss of another Aiken County youth.

The father's articulate commentary, even after a second careful reading, seems to imply that our community needs to do more to protect young people from such tragedies. I respectfully take exception to this implication.

Aiken and surrounding communities are doing a lot, probably much more than in other communities. For example: the Aiken County Coroner (my wife, Sue) spends countless hours talking to and working with our youth and their parents in schools, churches and other venues. The effort is to try to educate them on the consequences of driving while impaired, speeding, or driving with no seat belts.

My wife and other community members have, hopefully, reached many of our youths and their parents and made them stop and think before doing something to endanger their own or another's life.

At times of tragedy like this many people wax eloquent with finger pointing and recrimination. I would simply ask that the parents of our young people ask themselves three questions: 1) "Do I know where my child is tonight?" 2) "Why is my child not at home at 2:45 a.m.?" and 3) "What is my child doing and with whom?" I think the answers might be revealing.

C.L. "Skip" Townsend, Aiken

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