Any time children are killed in a car crash, parents stand up and take notice, but certain ones really stick with you. There was the Diane Schuler crash in 2009, the Berry family crash last summer, and now the Bronx Zoo crash, a horrific tragedy that killed three generations of one family on a beautiful April afternoon yesterday.
There is no rhyme or reason when something like this happens. Police still don't know the reason the Honda Pilot bounced off the median, crossed three southbound lanes, hit the curb, became airborne, and plunged over the guardrail and down 59 feet.
Around the crash scene is evidence that children were in the car, which makes it all nearly too sad to bear.
The crash killed the grandparents, two mothers, and three children, 10, 7, and 3. As a mom, it's just one of those crashes that haunts your nightmares.
They were headed to a family party. The SUV landed in a part of the Bronx Zoo that is closed to the public and far from any animal exhibits. For hours the car stayed on the ground, its right doors ripped off and debris from the crash strewn all over, including a child's pink backpack.
It's beyond anything most of us can even conjure in our worst nightmares.
As much as we love our children, all it would take is one wrong move, one out of control car, for all of it to end. It's too scary to imagine. In the Schuler crash, there was someone to blame, a drunken mother who made an unbelievably poor series of choices that killed one of her own children and all three of her nieces.
But in these other crashes, these random incidents of wrong place and wrong time and small choices that have big consequences, we see the truth of life. We see how fleeting it all is and how even the things that feel so sure -- our love for our children and our spouses -- aren't guaranteed.
We must appreciate every moment we are given and cling to those we love because all it would take is one bump in the road or one distracted driver to change everything.
My heart breaks for every family member who is dealing with this loss. I think we can all imagine how they must feel and how awful it is when a beautiful day and an afternoon drive with family can turn into an unimaginable tragedy.
My deepest sympathy goes out to this family.
Do stories like this terrify you, too?
Image via ikrichter/Flickr