Sometimes you just have to get... MAD!!

This past weekend a tragic accident occurred in Seattle that really upset me.  The more I think upon it, the more angry I get.  The accident claimed the lives of two innocent young adults, and was entirely caused by the unbelievably reckless driving of an apparently sober individual.  Turns out there is even more to the initial story that is confounding...

I doubt this link will last long, but you can read about it here - with my thoughts to follow.


So the facts are that this 43 year old man, who was driving at a high rate of speed on generally a very busy in-town 4 lane road, with two young girls in his vehicle (ages 10, 11), during daylight hours plowed into a car stopped at an intersection for a red light.  The collision carried both vehicles forward some 100 yards from the point of impact, whereupon the smaller car struck by the SUV burst into flames consuming the two innocent young (ages 26, 33) occupants.  A witness believed the SUV to be traveling approximately 70-80 mph.

Miraculously the two young girls in the SUV survived, as did the reckless driver.  They will be released from the hospital soon enough.

What really distresses me is that the driver who caused the accident was guilty of vehicular homicide in 2009.  At that time he took out a woman in her 60's after he again was driving at 80 mph on Seattle city streets and rapidly changing lanes.  Again he was apparently sober, but served no jail time, instead paying the victim's funeral expenses and being placed on probation for 2 years.  The Seattle Times article seems to indicate he was believed to be psychotic.  Even prior to the 2009 accident he apparently had one DUI.

So fast forward to this past weekend, with now 2 more fatalities notched on his (seat)belt.  According to authorities, he may now face up to one year in jail.  That is again, up to 1 year, unless he is released significantly early for good behavior or perhaps felt to suffer from a mental condition which would make his jail time "inappropriate".  Of course he is quite likely to drive again; all it takes is a key and a car.  As we know, many are out driving today with no license or a suspended license; yet that does not keep them off the road.  We seem to think this is our right, not a privilege.

It seems to me we have failed as a society to take the proper corrective action.  Jail time is rarely rehabilitation time, more often it is punitive time - for which we taxpayers fund.  Our nature is to give others a second (or third) chance..... but really, is that the right thing here?  I wish there was a mechanism for ensuring that he never ever drives again - but that is unlikely.  I don't have the answer, nor do I have a solution to propose.  I do believe however there should be consequences for our sins, for our actions that harm or kill others.......

My own sins have consequences most certainly.  And yes, I can seek/ask forgiveness for my actions or inactions, BUT still there are consequences - a penalty to be paid, or loss of chance, or broken relationship - somehow it is going to cost me.  Not always financially, nor involving incarceration (hopefully), but still there is a cost.  Separation or disruption of what could have been.  Similar in so many ways to my sin that keeps me from a closer relationship to our Lord.

So where I am going with all this?  I don't have all the answers.  Yet I do hope somehow out of the senseless tragedy of this past weekend in Seattle, lessons and corrective actions can be put into place to prevent such future events.  Though at some time in the years ahead forgiveness may be appropriate for the driver, the consequences for his actions should remain in place.

Thanks for reading.

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