This weekend two people who should have known better decided to turn a highway into drag strip and caused the deaths of three people.
It should never have happened. But it did and now the families of everyone involved are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Our hearts go out to them.
When something like this happens many will ask why. Some will try to assign blame to our culture, the media, video games or to something else that had nothing to do with the tragedy at hand. The blame for the deaths of three people, two of them children, belongs solely to the two individuals that decided to race down a busy highway.
It was a stupid decision.
Regardless of the legal consequences for the drivers, who very well may serve jail time, the fact that their careless actions killed three people should haunt them for the rest of their lives.
We hope that some good can come from this tragedy though. If nothing else it should be a wake-up call for anyone who engages in, or even thinks about racing other cars on anything other than a closed track.
Ideally the communities of York and Clover, and the entire Charlotte region, could turn this tragedy into a teachable moment, and use the opportunity to confront bad driving habits head on, and instill in all drivers a sense of respect and responsibility for the power they control behind the wheel.
Common sense should tell everyone that racing on a busy highway is a bad idea, but apparently there are some people that fail to grasp the concept, or else they simply don't care about anyone or anything. With drivers like that on the road, parents of teens should make sure they understand they always need to be aware of their surroundings and of what other drivers are doing around them.
This is not the first time street racers have killed innocent bystanders, and sadly it probably won't be the last.
Just exactly what it is that motivates some people to disregard the safety of everyone around them for a quick thrill escapes us. A lengthy jail sentence for the people responsible for this tragedy may discourage others from engaging in similar behavior, but we suspect someone who takes his or her life, and the lives of others, in their hands in a street race won't be dissuaded by the prospect of prison. They're counting on not getting caught.
At the very least, we hope everyone will be a little bit more careful on the roads.
The editorial opinion of the Enquirer-Herald
is reached by a consensus of a board consisting of Community Publications Director Patricia Larson and Editor Jonathan Allen.