So, my Mom's cousin died today.
My Grandmother called my mom this evening crying to tell her the bad news. She was really upset and my mother only got the news that he had been in an accident and didn't make it before she got off the phone with my grandmother because she was so upset (My Grandmother not my mother). My mother and I both have been looking online to see if any news articles had been posted regarding it. Around nine my mother found one.
Can I say, while I am saddened by the loss of this person (let's call him "M"), his death was totally preventable if he made smarter decisions? There's a bit of history with M. He's always been bit of a problem child, one who's reckless and careless actions has gotten him in trouble with the law lots of times. And while most people would be told to straighten up, his mother was always making excuses for him. "Boys will be boys", even though M was 40 and still doing this. He seemed to have a real case of entitlement when it came to stuff that belonged to his Grandfather (my Great-Grandfather). One time he went into the back lot of the property (after his Grandfather had died) and shot up a bunch of old cars that were there, even though he didn't even have permission to be there much less shooting. He would invite his buddies to use the land to go hunting, in spite of the fact that if anything happened on that land, my Grandfather (as well as his father) could be held accountable for any accidents. Just because you have the same last name as the person who legally owns it does not give you the free reign over it.
My Great-Grandfather also used to own his own company. It had seen better days, and by the 90's had dwindled down to only one store (It would have closed well before that had my Grandfather not given up his career to save it). This remaining store was on a plot of land that was wooded. Again M decided that he would have free access to this land for him and his buddies. I know at least one time that the cops had been called on him for being there and trespassing (I'm sure there might be more incidents), but he knew that he wasn't supposed to be there. But, he didn't stay away, and today it cost him his life.
Apparently he, one of his friends, and an unnamed teenage girl (meaning she was under 18) were out joyriding on a dirt road behind the store when the driver lost control of the car and smashed into a tree. His friend and the girl were fine, thanks to the airbag. M in the backseat was not so lucky. He stopped breathing at the scene, and was put on oxygen and airlifted to the hospital, where he died. The cops are still working on how the accident went down, but they know it was a high rate of speed (since it was a dirt road they'll never know the exact speed), and trying to figure out if alcohol was a factor, which I wouldn't be too shocked if it was.
And I am sad that this happened, I'm sorry for his mother, his sister, and the legions of children that he has now left fatherless. I'm also sad for my Grandmother who while not close to him, was still deeply affected by his death (She is very close to his mother). But part of me is mad at him. He was 40 years old, he should not be out joyriding, he should have known better. He also knew that he shouldn't have been there, he knew that he should not have brought his friends onto the property. In all honestly, I'm concerned about his friends suing my Grandfather even though there's legal documentation that M was not allowed on the property. This did not need to happen, at all.
And so Dear Readers, to everyone in cyberspace who may stumble upon it, please think about what may happen if you do something crazy and reckless. Because it may be the very last thing you do.