Savannah Nash turned 16 last week. Yesterday, her parents allowed her to drive alone for the first time, a quick trip to the store to pick up a few groceries for dinner. Minutes later, at 4:19 p.m., she was dead.
Nash, who received her permit a year ago, was issued a driver’s license with restrictions on Wednesday. Sources report she was texting when her car crashed into a semi-truck, killing her on the scene. The accident occurred so close to her Harrisonville, Missouri home, a neighbor reported that she heard it happen and could see the tail end of Nash’s t-boned car in the wreckage.
While more than 300 students mourn the passing of the high-school freshman today, local news reports that parents in the area were devastated at having to share the details with their own kids.
This heartbreaking, horrible unfolding shouldn’t be the way we teach our children a lesson. No parent wants to point at a television screen filled with footage of a totaled 2003 Chrysler where a young teen has died as a way to plead with her own child to put the phone out of reach while driving. No kid wants to believe than anything harmful can happen the first time you try something risky.
But it can. And it did. My heart is heavy with the visual of a girl ecstatic to try out driving for the first time alone, of a parent who is apprehensive but knows small steps to independence are a healthy sign of prosperity, of a community that went buzzing along with its life while a tap-tap-tapping veered a child off the road of her life.
I’d like to envelope that family and the friends of Savannah Nash in my warmest thoughts while one question rises up in the miles between us and a grieving town: How will you talk to your teen (or teen or younger one) about texting and driving today?
- Today is always Single Parent Appreciation Day
- Holding off on a break up because of a holiday
- Are goodbye gifts a good idea?