As a Rider student, we are close in proximity to many shops, hot spots like NYC and Philly, as well as neighboring schools. Rider is down the street from Notre Dame High School, Lawrence High School, as well as TCNJ, The College of New Jersey. I know many people from TCNJ, of whom I met through their Urban Teacher Academy summer program, summer of 2016. I also have friends from my hometown who also attend, so I am very familiar with their campus.
Just recently, early Sunday morning around 2 a.m. on December 2, TCNJ students were just down the street from arriving back onto campus when one student's car was struck by a drunk driver. The drunk driver crossed over the center line and slammed into the TCNJ student's car in a head-on collision, seriously injuring everyone in the car.
As I write this article, I have just learned that the designated TCNJ driver, the owner of the vehicle that was hit, has passed away. While I didn't know him personally, I do know the damage it has done to the TCNJ community as well as the victims' families. As someone who endured a severe loss to my hometown's community (not related to a drunk driving incident), I know the grief that accompanied myself and my town when we lost the Superintendent of our school district to another senseless act.
My parents have always told me growing up that if I were ever in a situation where someone drunk was intending to take control of a vehicle, to call them and my dad would pick me up in a heartbeat to ensure myself and those who could have potentially been involved, get home safely.
I will never understand why people think it is okay to drive while intoxicated or under the influence. You are not only putting yourself in danger but innocent people as well. Unfortunately, this was one of those "wrong place at the wrong time" incidents and my heart aches for the victims, as well as our fallen TCNJ student and his family. It is NEVER okay to drunk drive. Call your parents, call a friend, call an Uber.
Do SOMETHING to prevent this from happening because it IS POSSIBLE to prevent these devastating situations.
To those who have driven drunk, know of someone who drove drunk, or were affected in some way, SPREAD the word of its effects. It's a shame an incident like this where an upstanding, exceptional student's life was taken, especially during the holiday season, all because of someone's selfishness and stupidity.