Is A Crash Ever An Accident?

 Tuesday, November 24, 2020

 Car And Driver

When Helen Witty’s 16-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk and drugged driver, in her grief she found some comfort in a single word: crash. While most of those around her were referring to her daughter’s death as an accident, Witty says that one word—crash—helped her change her perception and heal.

The word was “empowering,” she says, after her daughter, Helen Marie, went Rollerblading in 2000 and never came home.

“It was a bright, sunny afternoon. She went to the end of our driveway, blew me a kiss, and said, ‘I’ll be right back. I’ll stay on the sidewalk. I’ll cross at the crosswalks. I love you.’ And I never saw her again.”

A 17-year-old girl who had spent the afternoon drinking and smoking pot with friends got behind the wheel of her car, got on the phone, and lost control of her vehicle, striking and killing Helen Marie.

The word "accident," Witty says, implies there wasn’t a cause. “A drunk-driving death or injury is 100 percent preventable,” says Witty. “There was a cause. Somebody was at fault.”
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