Tuesday, 18 December 2018

TO THE 18-YEAR-OLD I STOPPED ON THE HIGHWAY

TO THE 18-YEAR-OLD I STOPPED ON THE HIGHWAY

This message came from facebook.  It contains a powerful message to drive safely, not just over the Christmas and New Year holidays, but all year round.  The message is an open letter to all young drivers from a police officer. Below this letter are two further messages, one from a nurse and one from a funeral director.
To the 18-year-old kid I stopped on the highway,
You’re welcome. I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you. If not only killing yourself, you were well on your way to killing some innocent person who was minding their own business doing nothing else wrong but being in front of you. 
You said you didn’t realise how fast you were going. That’s a lie. You may not realise when you’re doing 60 in a 50 but you are fully aware of every kilometre per hour at 160. You realise it with every bump you hit. You realise it as you pass cars so fast the wind moves your car. You realise it every time you drift over
the line and when you move the wheel the car reacts a lot quicker than you’re used to. You absolutely realised it. 
You were scared when I stopped you. You were visibly shaking and breathing hard. Unfortunately, you were scared one minute too late and for the wrong reason. You should have been scared that you were trying to kill yourself. I know you’re invincible. I know that you can’t even fathom your own death. 
I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18-year-old bodies that I’ve pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I’ve found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognisable bodies. They thought they were invincible too. They weren’t. They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents that they were dead. Part of your soul disappears every time you have to tell parents that their kid is dead. 
I don’t KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day they say “Be careful. Drive safe.” Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe. When they get a knock on the door, it’s not “Good afternoon ma’am. Your 18-year-old son just had a massive heart attack.” It’s “Can we sit down? Your son has been involved in a very serious crash. I’m so sorry. He’s died.” When you leave the house they know that, far and away, the best chance you have of dying that day is in that car. Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter. 
You seemed like a really nice kid who made a bad decision. I don’t feel bad about this ticket at all. In fact, I’m proud of it. I hope you’re paying it off for months and with every payment you think about how it wasn’t worth it. I hope you slow down. I hope that when your mum tells you to “drive safe” you make a promise to her, and yourself, that you will. I hope you can envision me sitting in your kitchen telling your screaming mother that you have been killed. 
Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise.

I am one of those nurses who had to tell your parents you had died. I had to clean your lifeless body so you looked like you. I had to comfort your mum as she sobbed uncontrollably in my arms and I cried with her.
I am one of the nurses who gave it my all to save you and save your mum from the sorrow.
Please drive safe ALL YEAR AROUND.

I was one of the funeral directors who spent hours trying to make you look reasonable enough that the sight of your broken body didn’t haunt your parent for the rest of their days because they just wanted to see you one last time. I was the person who had to keep it together to go home and see my kids and hope that they are not as stupid as you for driving like you will never die. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Life is short enough without you living on the edge, and cutting all the people close enough to you to be killed or hurt when you do it. Please think before you do something really stupid. Please


You can find the original post and messages at this link: https://www.facebook.com/CopHumourAustralia/?__tn__=%2CdkCH-R-R&eid=ARCaf3THBSBUL4FMZyuz15XMPlJg_Aid7YqZ4bOP7ug9bxztMSydkDP2O_txNEGq-B_-3WAfXgFxP_fT&hc_ref=ARSlaIk5DpQ5iUtwjyoPkiKvr7IAG55SN5J67KdxT9_EKpY0Ql3STKrTSEkEGxdmeXs&fref=nf&hc_location=group



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