Thursday, September 30, 2010
I haven't been able to shake this little girl's picture from my mind this week. Her name was Alexis, and she was killed Saturday afternoon. She was only 9. Her mom was driving down the same small stretch of highway that I drive with my boys all the time. Everyone was wearing seat belts.
A 14 year old (FOURTEEN - as in not even old enough for drivers ed) stole a van from a community center, struck a vehicle and kept going. The operator of the car that was struck followed the van and the police followed too. The teenager in the van the drove onto Route 10 South, sideswiped another vehicle and crossed the grassy median striking this little girls car head on. She was at the point of the impact and died at the scene. Her mom, baby sister and another passenger in the car were all sent to the hospital with serious injuries. The 14 year old in the stolen van? Walked away with scratches. Both vehicles are totalled.
My husband, boys and I unknowingly drove by the accident scene Saturday. It's crazy the way things happen sometimes. We were at my in laws that afternoon for what was going to be a quick visit to say hi to my husband's grama who just came home. I remember being excited to see her, but later looking at the time and thinking I had so many other things to do and I just wanted to get a jump start on them at home. My father in law told the boys they'd order pizza for dinner and we ended up staying longer.
After dinner we drove from Route 6 to Route 10 South and the first thing we noticed was that there were no cars on Route 10 North. A moment later we were upon the accident scene... a totalled car facing the wrong way, sheets covering the top. I remember telling the boys to look right at me and trying to distract them from the other side of the highway as my husband and I exchanged the look where you just knew it was something awful. State troopers, police and firetrucks everywhere. Further down was the van, also turned the wrong way and totalled. The highway was closed and everyone was being rerouted another way.
That night on the news I cried as I saw that the little girl was killed. I don't even know the family, but my hearts aches for them. That mom strapped her girls into the car and drove and she didn't do a single thing wrong. There is no way it could have been prevented. It could have been anyone, it could have been us. And had we left my in laws when we were originally going to we most likely would have passed a really horrible accident scene just at the paramedics were getting there. I am thankful my kids didn't have to see that.
The story has been at the forefront of the news everyday. According to the comments on the news articles this 14 year old is rumored to have likely been drinking and in addition to speaking no english, may not live here legally. It has created so much fighting among people it's really sad. To make things worse, because he took a life at 14, he could still be out of the state training school in 4 years. FOUR YEARS.
I for one feel like at 14 you are old enough to know you are doing something you shouldn't be - and that there has to be a much stronger consequence for taking a life then spending 4 years in a state training school. In all the fighting and comments though, it seems like some people have lost sight that regardless of what happened, or what will happen, an innocent little girl has lost her life.
The family lives in my city. I know people whose children went to school with her. Her wake is tonight, at the funeral home down the street from my house. And tomorrow her funeral service will be held at the church I grew up in, where my children were baptised. The same church my sister is getting married in next month. It's heartbreaking and sad. As a mom, I just could not imagine...
A memorial fund has been set up for family of 9 year old, Alexis Silva. The Memorial Fund is C/O Jay Quinlan, Bank RI, 1047 Park Ave , Cranston RI 02910. It will assist her family with her services ♥