A mistake compounded on a tragic scale resulted in the deaths of four Denham Springs, Louisiana teenagers last Saturday night. Just before midnight, six young men riding in a Dodge Ram hit another Dodge pickup, a smaller Dakota, on Louisiana Highway 16 south of that small town. Turning a routine traffic accident into a hit-and-run, they fled the scene. The Dakota followed. Senseless tragedy and loss followed as the driver of the Ram missed one of Highway 16's many curves and left the road, slamming into a concrete culvert. Four of the six teenagers were killed by the impact; another was hospitalized in critical condition. The sixth was treated and released from a local hospital. The driver of the Dakota was neither injured nor ticketed in the original crash or aftermath. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor, as the teenagers had been seen trying to get into a local club earlier in the evening. None of the victims were wearing seat belts. Below are three links to The Advocate's coverage of the story.
This story made me think of a lesson we got from the Episcopal High principal before the recent Homecoming Dance. He told us to remind our kids to "make good decisions," and said that they'd know what that meant. Remind your kids to "make good decisions" when they go out, and let them know that they can call you no matter what kind of scrape they get in. Anything is better than being called to identify your dead child's body.
In the photo by "The Advocate's" Patrick Dennis, a friend of the victims inspects the crash site.