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My dear friend, don’t drive dangerously

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Attending the recent Street Smart demonstration and seeing vivid images of real car accident victims reminded me of my friend, Megan.

It was during my sophomore year in high school that she lost her life in a tragic car crash. She was only 17 years old and had so much to live for.

She was a member of our school's Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, and planned to join the Air Force upon graduating.

On Aug. 2, 2012, she and her brother were riding in a truck with her friend who was driving. Everything was fine until the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a telephone pole, causing the vehicle to catch on fire.

The driver, not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the truck and taken to the emergency room, while Megan and her brother died on impact.

When I heard the news of her death, I could not believe it - I was in shock. It was during her funeral that it really hit me: she was gone and there was nothing anybody could do to bring her back.

I will never forget Megan or the heartache I felt. The memory is a constant reminder that no one is indestructible.

From the moment we start thinking about driving, it's been hammered into our heads how dangerous it can be. And as new drivers, we feel invincible and that nothing bad can happen to us while we are on the road.

The Street Smart presentation served an important purpose because it stresses the importance of always driving cautiously, making sure everyone in the vehicle stays safe.

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