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Tragic car crash takes the life of Tennessee doctor

Car accidents are called accidents not because they "just happen." No, often there are very obvious reasons why they happen. An Hermitage doctor died Tuesday night when a driver who was apparently under the influence of alcohol or drugs ran a red light and crashed in to his car.

The 20-year-old driver is now facing criminal charges, including felony reckless endangerment and failing to yield to a traffic signal. Additional charges are expected. Nevertheless, there is nothing unexpected about this type of car accident. When motorists drive drunk or use drugs, it is little surprise when a crash occurs and people die.

Campaigns to prevent drunk driving have been in place for the last 40 years. Laws have been tightened, additional restrictions have been placed on the sale of alcohol to minors and penalties for drunk driving have been significantly strengthened.

Yet terrible and tragic deaths like this still occur. A respected doctor, who has helped thousands of patients, is killed by a 20-year-old kid with a history of possession of drugs.

And even with the emphasis on stopping drunk driving, according to MADD, in 2012 there were 10,322 deaths and about 345,000 injures attributed to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.

While we often refer to them as car accidents, they are accidental only in the randomness of the selection of the victims. Drivers who drink or use drugs may believe they are only having fun and do not intend harm to anyone.

However, when they get behind the wheel of an automobile and begin driving, they are as dangerous as a loaded gun or a burning building.

And this is why we all must work to prevent drunk driving crashes, because, as they say, the life you save may be your own.

Source:, "Hermitage doctor killed in Wilson County crash, Driver charged," August 6, 2014

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