As the dad of two daughters it broke my heart to watch the mother of a 19-year-old woman, mourn for her youngest daughter.  Right away, I just want to express my condolences to her and her family.  It was a tragic and unexpected thing for this young woman to die so young, and it was absolutely unnecessary.

So what caused this terrible accident?  Stupidy, speed, and alcohol.  Shortly before midnight the vehicle she was a passenger in was traveling along Briarfield Rd. in Hampton, Virginia (VA) when the driver lost control, sped off the road, and struck a tree, just feet from her apartment, reports Wavy TV 10.  

The driver, the girl’s fiancé, was taken to a local hospital where he is listed in critical condition, but will recover from his injuries.  Police investigators have determined that speed was a contributing factor in the accident.  The mother said both the driver and her daughter had been drinking alcohol and that her daughter was not wearing a seat belt.  Police say that charges are pending against the driver of the vehicle.

Sadly, the loss of life from alcohol-related car accidents is becoming increasingly common in Virginia. In fact, alcohol-related wrecks have increased 3 percent from 2003 to 2008, according to the Virginia DMV.  In Virginia Beach, there were 612 car crashes where alcohol played a role in 2008. 

The mother told Wavy TV 10 that she had already forgiven the fiancé.  That is very commendable of her, but unfortunately there are many expenses that the family may still accrue due to her daughter’s death.  That doesn’t mean they have to sue their former son-in-law, but that they have the option to seek compensation from his insurance company.

Let this accident serve as a reminder.  The speed limit is just that – the limit.  Seat belts save lives, that is why they are mandatory and above all else never ever drive under the influence.