The six teens killed in the Ohio crash update is revealing frightening information that every parent of a teen might want to read. Any one of those six killed teens could be your teen tomorrow. The six teens killed in the Ohio crash were described by friends and family members as “good kids,” reported the Associated Press on March 11, 2013.
None of the six teens killed were “troublemakers” and all eight teenagers involved in Sunday morning’s Ohio crash in Warren were from “a mostly blue-collar city of 41,000 near the Pennsylvania line, about 60 miles east of Cleveland.”
Lisa Williams, the mother of 14-year-old Brandon Murray who was one of the six teens killed in the Ohio crash said about the teens that “many of them would hang out and stay overnight in her basement to play video games, listen to music and watch movies.”
So why did these six teens have to die – because of a lie? Or is it really a lie if a teen tells his parent that he is at a friend’s house for a sleepover when he is actually at a party?
One of the fathers whose child was among the six teens killed in the Ohio crash said that “the teenagers were coming home from a sleepover at a friend's house.”
Another father whose child was among the six teens killed in the Ohio crash said that “his son and the others had all stayed over at a friend's house and that a girl offered them a ride home.”
One of the mothers whose child was among the six teens killed in the Ohio crash said that “her son and his best friend had lied about staying over at each other's homes that evening. She said she thinks they went to a party.”
“She said her son called late Saturday night and said he was staying at the home of his best friend Ramone White. She said it wasn't until after the accident that she found out that wasn't true.”
Whether a teen says they are at a “sleepover,” “staying at a friend’s house,” or going to a party, does it really make that much difference to a teen?
The only difference is really what parents hear.
Teens will tell parents what they need to hear. If a parent prefers to hear the word "sleepover," the teen will use the word sleepover. If a parent needs to hear the words “a friend’s house,” that is the language a teen will use. And if parents don’t mind, a teen might actually say that he is going to “a party.”
What matters to teens is that they want to be away from home for the night, be with friends, and have fun.
Lisa Williams, victim Brandon Murray’s mom, spoke for many parents when she said that "If only he had listened. … I told him, 'Don't you go nowhere.' But they're kids."
Teens not listening to parents or teens telling parents a lie or a different version of the truth is as old as time.
However, while most parents will agree with Lisa Williams that, “But they’re kids” and "It's what we did when we were growing up, too," many parents do not realize that these teens are kids in a different time and place.
What might have gotten a different generation of teens in trouble 30 years ago, gets today’s teens into the morgue.
Unlike their parents, teens today are often smarter, more sociable with older kids, more careless, “more needy,” and thus more daring.
On Monday, the owner of the SUV met with police and filed a stolen-car report. None of the teens killed on Sunday were related to the owner nor had asked for permission to use the vehicle. How many parents would have stolen someone else’s SUV when they were teens?
The driver of the stolen SUV was a 19-year-old girl. All of the other passengers were boys younger than her (ages 18, 17, 15, 15, 15, 15, and 14). How many fathers had that experience as a teen or how many mothers did that?
How many mothers at the age of 19 would have driven a stolen SUV at a high speed with eight younger boys in it and not remind everyone to wear seatbelts even though it is required by law? And how many girls would have had seven male passengers in a five-seat SUV?
“Investigators said they believe excessive speed was a key factor in the crash, which took place in a 35 mph zone alongside a steel mill near what's known in the neighborhood as ‘Dead Man's Curve.’ Authorities did not say how fast the SUV was going. They were also awaiting the results of drug and alcohol tests. None of the teens in the five-seat 1998 Honda Passport were wearing seat belts, state police said.”
Many parents might remember from their teen years that it doesn’t take alcohol or drugs to feel “high” and “exhilarated” when being among peers and having a great time.
The only two boys who survived Sunday’s exhilarating experience were 18-year-old Brian Henry (who talks about the crash in the video to the left) and 15-year-old Asher Lewis. Both boys managed to smash a rear window, to wriggle out of the wreckage and to swim away, while five others were trapped inside the sunken SUV. The sixth person had been thrown from the vehicle and was found later when the SUV was taken out of the five-foot-deep pond.
“State police identified them as the 19-year-old driver, Alexis Cayson; Andrique Bennett, 14; Brandon Murray, 14; and Kirklan Behner, Ramone White and Daylan Ray, all 15. Cayson, Murray and Ray drowned, the coroner said. Autopsies on the others were incomplete.”
Derrick Ray, 15-year-old Daylan’s father who visited the pond after viewing his son’s body at the morgue, said about Saturday night that “he knew that his son, a football player who was looking forward to playing in high school, was out with friends, but didn't know their plans.”
Teens do not like to be asked too many questions by parents and most parents who love and trust their teenage kids will respect that.
Chris Jones, a 16-year-old who used to see most of the victims every day at school and in their neighborhood speaks for many other teenagers and parents when he said,
"They're not always the best kids. They're not out there looking for straight A's. … But none of these kids should be where they are today. This should have never had happened."
In addition to remembering that the life of a teen today is not the same as it was 30 years ago, what else can parents do?