Friday, March 30, 2012

When Tragedy Hits Close To Home

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

I've been thinking a lot about Nick Adenhart this week.

Nick Adenhart, 22, was killed three years ago this week in my hometown of Fullerton, CA when a drunk driver ran a red light and plowed into a car with the Los Angeles Angel Pitcher and three of his friends. Two of Nick's friends died in the accident and one life will never, ever be the same. The drunk driver tried to run away from the scene but was eventually caught, arrested and is now sitting in jail for a long time.

This effected a lot of people on many different levels.

I personally flashed back to 30 years previous when I was a little younger than Nick and ironically coming back from an Angel Baseball game. I found myself at the same intersection. Orangethorpe and Lemon...where Nick and his friends died. I got the green light and I was instinctively going to go across the intersection when out of the corner of my eye I saw a big Buick going around 60 miles an hour with no intentions of it went through the intersection. My life could have been cut short on that April night in 1979 if I had not been alert.

The age of 22 is way too young to exit this life. I think of all the wonderful experiences and friendships and places I've been in the past 30 years. Nick and his friends are not going to be able to experience and enjoy any of those things. All because some guy took one too many drinks and thought he could drive a car...or nobody was there to stop the drunken guy from getting into the car...or nobody wanted to take the keys away from this killer.

My son is the same age as Nick. I cannot even imagine the feeling of loss and emptiness that Nick's family is feeling right now. Our sons are still babies...they're too young. These things should never happen. It is totally preventable.

I want to urge everyone that reads this to be proactive. If you have a friend or aquaintence that you see has had too much to drink....take their keys and get them a cab. If you're out with a group of your friends having drinks...offer to be the designated driver. If you are a bartender or a bar owner and you see somebody leaving your establishment by themselves that's been drinking stop them from getting in the car. Anything. The life you save may be your own.

For more information on how you can become proactive when it comes to drinking and driving and how you can save lives...go to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website at

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