An 18-year-old in Ohio was caught allegedly doing 100 MPH in a 65 MPH zone, and the police officer who ticketed him is pissed. So much so that the cop took to Facebook and penned an open letter to the Youth, criticizing him for apparently jeopardizing his life and those of others on that road.
“To the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10,” North Ridgeville Police Department’s Facebook post from last night begins, “You’re welcome. I’d like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you.”
The rest of the post goes on, saying that the teenager put his own safety and the safety of others at risk, and that his claim that he didn’t realize how fast he was going was “a lie.”
After claiming that the kid probably thought he was invincible, the officer’s letter gets pretty dark, reading:
I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18 year old bodies that I’ve pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I’ve found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognizable bodies. They thought they were invincible too. They weren’t. They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents that they were dead. Part of your soul disappears every time you have to tell parents that their kid is dead.
It goes on with the dark theme:
I don’t KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day they say “Be careful. Drive safe.” Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe. When they get a knock on the door, it’s not “Good afternoon ma’am. Your 18 year old son just had a massive heart attack. It’s “Can we sit down? Your son has been involved in a very serious crash. I’m so sorry. He’s died.” When you leave the house they know that, far and away, the best chance you have of dying that day is in that car. Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter.
The letter concludes with the officer saying he or she does not regret giving the ticket, even though the driver seemed like a nice kid. “I hope you’re paying it off for months and with every payment you think about how it wasn’t worth it,” it says, finishing off with “Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise.”
Click the Facebook embed above or this link to see the full post. It’s an interesting one that had me reminiscing on my time as a teenager on the rural roads of eastern Kansas, eager to learn how fast my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee’s 190 horsepower inline-six could propel my boxy machine. I will neither confirm nor deny that the speedometer reached triple digits on the 65 MPH country road.
The street was straight and empty, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but still. It’s not worth getting pulled over, and there are always risks out of one’s control—like deer running onto the road or a blowout.
While I don’t know the exact driving conditions surrounding the incident referenced in the letter, and I don’t know the kid’s motivation for going 100 MPH, I can say that—at least among my friends when I was younger—it was totally normal to try to hit the century mark. It was a curiosity that we just couldn’t tame, and in retrospect, it was just pointless and dumb.