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Nick Adenhart's death a reminder of the consequences of driving drunk

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nick-adenhart-death-dui-angels.jpgThe tragic news of Nick Adenhart's death shook the baseball world earlier today, as players and fans alike struggled to come to grips with such a sudden loss of life. Adenhart had performed brilliantly just hours before his life was taken, throwing six scoreless innings in only the fourth start of his young and promising career for the Los Angeles Angels.

And the fact that this 22-year-old who had his whole life ahead of him was robbed of all his potential by a suspected drunk driver makes it even more sad.

It is, in short, mind-numbingly painful to think that at any moment the irresponsible and selfish actions of another could deny any one of us of our most precious gift.
Although Adenhart was a professional baseball player, this is not about sports. It's about respecting your fellow man.

So many of us have been touched personally, or know someone who has been affected by a person's decision to drive drunk. Mothers lose sons, husbands lose wives and friends lose friends everyday in the blink of an eye.

Like most guys in their 20s, I walk around with this sense that I'm invincible, that nothing bad could ever happen to me. This devastating event is a reminder that as a interconnected society, our lives aren't just in our own care.

Adenhart had personally worked so hard to be where he was Wednesday night, pitching on baseball's biggest stage in front of his friends and family. His agent, Scott Boras, tearfully recounted the night.

""After the game," Boras said, "he was so elated. It was tremendous fun. A great moment for all of us, seeing a young man take a huge step."

The young right-hander had apparently told his father a few days ago that he needed to see him pitch. Adenhart had a feeling something special was going to happen.

And in a mere matter of hours, the highest of highs turned to the lowest of lows when the car he was traveling in was struck by 22-year-old Thomas Gallo, who was driving with a suspended license because of previous drunken-driving infractions.

It should be pointed out that Gallo has not been convicted of anything yet. But, the problem is still out there, no matter what facts come to light.

It goes without saying that this isn't how the story should have ended. More importantly, it didn't have to end this way.

In 2007, there were 12,998 alcohol-related fatalities on the nation's roadways -- down from over 21,000 in 1982. The decrease in the loss of life is progress, one death is too many.

While alcohol may blur the decision-making process that leads to getting behind the wheel while under the influence, the consequences of these actions were never clearer than what happened this morning.

Hangovers will go away, but the pain inflicted will never subside.

With that in mind, it's important we all take the opportunity to remind ourselves that it's never okay to get behind the wheel while impaired and it's our duty to stop others from doing the same.

Your actions can save a life just as easy as they can take one away.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Adenhart's friends and family in this dark time and to all of those whose lives have been forever changed by these senseless acts of destruction.




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15 Comments

Right on, brother.

What about the other victims? Didn't they have a future? You talk about 'respecting your fellow man' but the other victims aren't even worth a mention. What a shame.

Kyle responds: A valid point, but this story is about 12 hours old, and isn't exactly a rehashing of the facts, which I'd assume are fairly evident by now. Nick Adenhart is no more important that the thousands of others that die each year, just more visible in the public's eye. My heart, and the hearts of anyone capable of feeling empathy go out to the other victims as well.

Maybe they didn't know the names of the other victims. They weren't trying to be disrespectful. But this is what happens when you are a famous person. Not that you get killed in an accident but other people's names will be left out. It is sad but true.

I agree with Melanie and Kyle. I mentioned this to my sister tonight as well. My heart goes out to Nick. It truly does, but others were killed and my hear goes out to there families as well. I could not imagine going through this pain. God Bless!

wow! this was roaring on myspace but i had no idea until i saw it on the news. it is so tragic seeing young peoples lives been taken by someone who just wanted to party.

The death of Nick Adenhart should focus on the cause of his death not that he was a upcoming super star. The comments above are childish and they are blind to the fact that Nick died and because of his death the emphasis gets to be put back on drunk drivers. Just because the thousand of others who have died because of these ill people does not get mentioned on the national news, does not make them less important. Nicks death should be used in a positive way...that is letting the general public know that know one is safe from a drunk driver. I prayers go out to the family of Nick and the thousands of other grieving families.

It's a reminder to live your life to the fullest , meaning we all know you could be here today and gone tomorrow or here in the morning and gone at night.If there is any thing you want to do in life DO IT you may not be here tomorrow !


i was very shocked when i heard the tragedy about such a great pitcher.He was one of my favorite and i dont believe he should have had to pay the price.But car accidents due to a drunk driver aren't quite that new.All i know is god was missing an angel so he took Nick from not only his family but his friends and the rest of what he had left to come of his life.My prayers go out to his family and teammates.I hope Gallo pays for the rest of his life.Drunk drivers need to be stopped.

All well intentioned comments are heartfelt and sincere. We all should know that everyone expresses their sentiments as best they can. One thing to remember, when making these comments.......check your grammar and spelling.

everyone just needs to pray for his family and the others in the car that were with him that were also killed. and be thankful god made sure before he left that he led the angels to a winning game last night and as a huge angels fan we all just need to be thankful he didnt die suffering that god took him right away everything happens for a reason. but he will be missed very much.

My heart goes out to Nick's family as well as the families of the other two individuals that were so horrifically killed. This was truly a senseless tragedy. My prayers and condolenses go out to all three families in such a terrible time in their lives. May all three rest in peace.

yes I agree with katie d .. it is sad and tragic, Gallo probably had no bad intentions and was just having a good time, but let this be a lesson again: don't drink and drive !!! we all have to share the road with one another.

JJ

It is necessary to bring more attention to this issue and that is why the article was written. Drunk Driving is not taken seriously enough. This driver already had his license suspended from a previous offense related to alcohol but was still driving. It seems as though the people who truly understand the seriousness of this offense are those that have already lost someone and this needs to change. Drinking and driving needs to stop being tolerated. It is a senseless crime.

Melanie, with all due respect I can't stand it when people like you come out whining about an article that is trying to say something about the hazards of drunk driving. There were 4 victims not including the family and friends but its not like the author disrespected them, I thought your snarky comments were way more disrespectful not to mention inappropriate.

JJ - you're the first person that stated a realistic view regarding the driver. Everyone hates him, but how many of them have a "few" drinks and get behind the wheel. No one ever thinks they're "too" drunk to drive. My prayers and thoughts are with all the families affected by this avoidable tragedy. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on April 9, 2009 7:59 PM.

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