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In Focus: Senseless deaths remind: Stop texting, stop speeding

| Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

When I was 24 years old, one of my best friends was killed in a crash on a rain-slickened road in Nevada. He was a passenger in the car and died at the scene.

He was talented, funny, and one of the warmest and friendliest people I have ever met. He had such a bright future ahead, but it was all gone in an instant.

Why am I telling you this? I'm hoping that the next time you get behind the wheel of a car, that you use common sense. Stop texting, and for the love of God, stop speeding.

Last week, three teenagers, and — as of Friday morning — two adults were killed when the 19-year-old driver of a Mustang lost control of the vehicle and swerved into the path of an oncoming Chevrolet Lumina in Armstrong County.

An Armstrong County sheriff said the crash was the most horrific he had ever seen. The Allegheny County coroner said speed played a factor.

I know I've harped on this subject before, but it's worth reiterating. There's nothing cool or impressive about speeding. And there's nothing important enough to be distracted by when you're driving. You are risking the lives of yourself, your passengers and everyone else on the road.

And it's not only inexperienced teen drivers. In fact, even more so, it's grown adults who should know better; parents who preach to their children the same thing I am preaching here, but not leading by example.

During my commutes from my South Hills home to work here in Sewickley, I've seen pretty much everything on Route 65. Recently, I saw a woman talking on her cell, swerving into oncoming traffic, with a baby in a car seat in the back.

One day last week, someone was driving mere inches from my bumper, and the next day, someone almost clipped me while they were going at least 80 mph and weaving in and out of traffic on Route 65 northbound just before the McKees Rocks Bridge. All of that to get stuck at the red light.

We all have done it. We're running late for something. We're leaving work after a long day and just want to get home. We've drafted a quick text, made a call, ran a red light.

Most of us have gotten through unscathed, but it's just not worth the risk.

You. Are. Not. Invincible.

Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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