Those of us who live in Ellicott City are saddened by the loss of two young, local girls, both 19 and in college, who lost their lives at 12:02 a.m. Tuesday morning when a train derailed in the heart of our picturesque town. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what a tragedy this is and how—and if—it could have been avoided.
This story has captured the attention of both national and international news media. Apparently, the two girls were tweeting from the bridge as they sat on top of it—the railroad bridge at the bottom of the hill that says “Ellicott City” near the B&O Museum—and had been drinking. Their tweets showed their feet dangling off the bridge and said “levitating,” and they made references to a brand of alcohol. The fact that you can see what they were tweeting just moments before the accident happened makes it even more disturbing.
The train derailed at 12:02 a.m., and while the investigation is still open as they are trying to determine the facts, questions as to whether the girls caused the accident or whether it was a tragic coincidence are being looked into.
My heart goes out to their families. I think all of us who frequent historic Ellicott City area on a regular basis are stunned by this unfortunate accident.
I hugged my kids last night. Good and tight.
When something like this happens close to home, you pause. You want your kids to grow up and make good decisions, but you can’t always be there to hold their hands. It’s a reminder that we all make stupid mistakes every day, both small ones and big ones, yet some of those mistakes can put our lives—or the lives of ones we love—in danger.
Don’t reach for that cell phone when you’re driving. Drive slowly in neighborhoods so you don’t kill a child who runs after a ball. Listen to your parents when they say something could be dangerous. Look both ways when you cross the street. Wear helmets when you bike. Watch children in the swimming pool. The list goes on…
In general, use good judgment whenever you can.
Life is precious. And is not something to be taken lightly.
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For more about the facts and particulars of this story, visit The Baltimore Sun.