In case you missed it, the light was not green, it was red. In case you missed it, that car was not going straight, it was turning right. In case you missed it, car accidents are actually a big deal. In fact, one just occurred while reading this.
According to Teen Driver Source, six teenagers ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle accident injuries; this age group stands out among all the others for having a greater risk of being in a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, three of Antioch’s very own contributed to verifying this risk.
Tiffany Road in Antioch has always been the road that senior Alex Unekis takes when coming home from work, always arriving home at the same time every night. However, one night was different for Unekis; this spooky, October night was when this senior fell out of his usual routine– for a while atleast.
“I was at least a half mile from home when I looked behind me and I saw this guy coming at me at 50 miles per hour,” Unekis said. “I was completely stopped when this guy hit me. He hit me so hard that my whole center dash ended up in the back seat and the back seats ended up by the roof. All of my back windows were smashed and there was glass everywhere.”
Of course Unekis, like many others, never thought it would ever happen to him, and unfortunately, something like that cannot be taken back; it stays with someone forever.
“When I drive now, I always look back,” Unekis said. “I get nervous whenever I see a car coming up on me fast. I won’t turn down that road anymore unless no one is behind me.”
Unekis later made sense of the fact that the man was three times over the legal drinking limit, as well as obtaining an expired license plate and no insurance.
The culprit conveniently missed the speed limit and chose to go 20 over. The culprit clearly looked past the legal drinking limit and chose to drive anyways because his life was seemingly more important. The culprit was oblivious to the damage that drunk driving causes to others on the road. He missed it; he missed all of it.
“I was always against drinking and driving, but now I really don’t have any respect for people that do it,” Unekis said. “It is unfortunate though because I feel like people will drink and drive no matter what, but if they start to complain that they don’t have a license anymore because of getting caught, I won’t feel bad for them at all.”
P.E. and Driver’s Ed. teacher Heather Coleman sides with Unekis on this matter of the topic.
“I tell them that driving is scary because not only do you have to worry about what you are doing, you have to worry about the idiots out there making poor decisions which can affect you,” Coleman said.
Unekis stands as one of the many few that have not been physically affected by a drunk driver, however the same can’t be said about his mentality. Because of this man, who missed the dangers of drinking and driving, Unekis remains paranoid while driving, and most likely will for the rest of his life.
Just a small amount of time passed before another accident involving two of Antioch’s students occurred. Seniors and twin sisters, Amy and Ashley Reiser, share an experience so similar, yet so different to Unekis’s.
“All I really remember is seeing the headlights coming at us as I was turning,” Amy Reiser. said “I’m pretty sure I closed my eyes on the impact because the next thing I saw was us turned in the opposite direction.”
An experience so scary, yet so life changing, altered driving for many. All because one man missed the speed limit. All because one man missed the train. All because drivers in these towns miss how big of a deal driving is, and how important other people’s lives are apart from their own.