What's your Chappaquiddick?

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 09/06/2009 - 11:47.

To some degree or the other, we all have a Chappaquiddick in our lives - a turn we took wrong.   This narrow bridge changed the course of US history, most likely.  

Looking back at this tragedy and seeking to find the lesson taught - from my life's perspective - having known numerous persons who drank and drove and either killed themselves, or killed someone else - I think the lesson is the one we repeatedly hear, "Don't drink and drive" - and consider very carefully whether your should ride with someone who has been drinking.   Especially in unfamiliar territory.

I grew up in an agricultural area that had mortar lined canals for irrigation.  One night 3 airmen from a local air force base took out 3 sisters and ended up joy riding around in the fields.   When their car came upon the canal they turned hard to avoid driving head first into the canal.  Instead, the car rolled sideways into the canal ending upside down, perfectly wedged between the mortar canal walls.

All six drowned.   

I remember my dad showing me the place where it happened when we went by a few weeks later.

Senator Kennedy's memoir, to be published soon, discusses his decisions immediately after his car went of the right hand side of this bridge (image June 2007 - at the time of the event, there was not a railing, only a single timber on top of the deck at the bridge edge).  

Maybe this episode will benefit others by engaging discussion about deciding (before any wrong turn) not to drive if you've had a few. 

RIP

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