Last Friday, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School was honored to have the chance to listen to Corey Scanlon’s story at a special assembly organized by the student council. Corey is now 26 years old. When he was 19, he was in a tragic accident, caused by his drunk driving, which ended in despair. He told us that he woke up in a hospital bed to hear his mother tell him that he had killed his two best friends. He opened up to us and told us about his life and the terrible misfortune he had experienced. It was hard to listen to his story without wanting to break down and cry. As he stood on the stage before us and explained what he’s been through, it opened our eyes to one of the huge consequences of alcohol.
Every five or so years, it seems, a student at this high school is involved in a car accident and loses his life, or takes another’s life. We need to put an end to this. As a class we realize that regardless of how many PowerPoint presentations we are shown, or how many discussions we’ve had on drinking, a vast amount of students continue to drink. We need to realize we’re not invincible and that drinking and driving most of the time ends in tragedy.
Jessie Chandler, editor
Drinking and Driving Is a Bad Idea
By ANA NASCIMENTO
Drinking and driving is not a good idea. At the assembly last Friday, Corey told us the story of his life. When he was 19 years old, he made the stupid decision to drink and drive. He never thought that anything would happen to him. As he said at the assembly, “When we’re teenagers, we often think we are invincible.”
Corey’s stupid decision led to the death of his two best friends. After a night out drinking at a bar they took the car and were heading home, but, because of the alcohol he had drunk, Corey lost control of his car and crashed. Two of his friends died, and one survived. Corey didn’t remember anything about the accident, but when he woke up in the hospital he didn’t know what was going on until his parents told him that he had crashed the car and he was responsible for the death of his two best friends.
At the assembly Corey asked all the students not to drink and drive, but he knows that most of the students who are already addicted to drinking won’t stop drinking and so I think what he really meant was: “DON’T DRINK AND THEN DRIVE.” All it takes is one split second for someone’s life to change completely. He clarified that he would do anything to change the decision he made to drink and drive. If he could do it again, he wouldn’t have gotten the keys to his car and taken off.
I hope that Corey’s speech helps students here at MVRHS to realize that they don’t need to drink to be cool. Having a driving license is a privilege, and being able to drive doesn’t give anyone immunity to car accidents, death or having to face the law. I think that the responsible kids from this school will change after hearing everything that happened to Corey after that tragic accident.
A Rare Speaker
By CARLOS GUZMAN
A rare and powerful speaker came to tell the tragic story of his life. I think it was rare to find someone who had been responsible for the killing of two of his best friends and had the courage to talk about it in front of a whole high school. It was powerful because he wasn’t a trained speaker, and it was coming out of someone who went through the accident himself. I think it was a good opportunity to learn something to make us high school kids aware of the terrible things that can happen if we are drinking and driving.
By ANDREW RANDALL
Today a man named Corey came into our school to talk about drunk driving. It was the night of his best friend’s 21st birthday and Corey went out to a bar with his friends. On the way home, he hit a guardrail and flipped the car three times. He and his two best friends were thrown from the car. His two friends were killed. Before that night, Corey had been planning on joining the Coast Guard, and his two friends also had bright futures ahead. He talked to us about how, in one second, his life changed. No one in the car was buckled up, which was part of the reason why his two friends died. When he was in the hospital, a state trooper told Corey that if they had been wearing seat belts, the crash would have been like a roller-coaster ride and would probably not have been fatal. His speech was very moving and made me think about making smart decisions about driving with people who have been drinking. It also reminded me that buckling up is very important and can save lives.
By KYLE FRANCIS
Corey’s life used to be great until he made one bad decision to drink and drive. He used to play soccer, wrestle and loved what he did. He was even planning on joining the Coast Guard. Today he has set different goals for himself. It was his best friend PJ’s birthday and they went with friends to the bar to drink and have fun — underage. PJ was turning 21, Corey was 19 and Mike and Brendan were both 18. Corey was the one who decided to drive. They were on their way home when Corey lost control of the car and flipped over, smashing into a guardrail. Everyone was ejected from the car except Brendan. Mike died at the scene and PJ died at the hospital. As for Corey and Brendan, they were banged up pretty bad but they lived. “I remember waking up and asking my mom what happened, what happened?” His mom had to explain to him that he was going to be arrested and that he had killed his two best friends.
This story made me really think, and I know now that if I ever decide to drink that I am going to do it in a safe place where I don’t need to drive. I want to give special thanks to Corey for the information about what drinking and driving can lead to.
By KUNAL DATTA
We had an assembly and a speaker came in to talk about drunk driving. I think that the story that Corey talked to us about was very meaningful and touched a lot of the students. I also think that he had a great point about how he thought nothing could happen to him and how every teen feels invincible.
I think this is true because on the news people always see stories about how people have had a fatal accident or even died because they were driving drunk. Corey told us how when he was a teen he felt like nothing could happen to him and that he has never got in trouble for anything involved with alcohol or drugs, so he would be all right.
By TYLER ARAUJO
We had a guest speaker last week. He told our school his story, about how he had an accident while driving drunk. It was a very informal speech and I feel like it could make a big impact on a large group of the students in the high school. His speech was very powerful and was taken in by all the students. I fell like this is going to make a big impact and make kids think twice about getting in the car with someone who is drunk or getting in the car themselves to drive. I hope that all of the other students took this speech as a learning experience and will learn from it.