I write this letter not to attack you, but to help you comprehend the impact you have on people’s lives. You are privileged to possess a job that can allow you to have direct impact on individuals in the community, county and state.
Your Tuesday article, “Report: Teens huffing before fatal crash” seems like a normal news story as any other, unless you know the families or the teens who were killed in the crash on I-79 in Greene County Oct. 3.
First of all, what occurred Oct. 3 was nothing more than a tragedy! Three 18-year-old boys and a middle-aged man lost their lives in a horrific accident that shut down the interstate for hours. We have all made horrible choices in our lives, but thankfully have lived to see another day to correct our mistakes. These boys did not get that chance. You have painted a picture of �miscreants. I am willing to stand up for the deceased and be their voice. These boys were not criminals, murderers, thieves or the scum of our society; they simply made one bad decision for which they paid the ultimate price – their lives!
The people you are hurting the most by the negativity of your article are the families of those involved. It has only been three months, and the families are still grieving. I know one of the families involved. They are unable to even try to close the wounds they have endured from the accident because of the ridicule and negativity they keep hearing about the incident.
There is a ton of blame going around when the reality is, everyone involved has different levels of guilt, depression, loss, and sadness. The impact of the accident is different for every family, but one thing they all have in common is they must live with what occurred for the rest of their lives. Every time you choose to run an article about the accident in such a negative way, you are hurting all the families who have been hurt beyond comprehension.
I understand the news has to be reported, but I feel there are different ways to do so. I have not seen a single positive comment about the boys and their lives or even stated anywhere what a tragic loss the community suffered by the loss of three of their own. I can say with 100 percent certainty those boys meant to cause no harm to themselves or others when they got into that SUV. As a newspaper, you have the option to help these families by running articles on the boys that tells their life stories, not just the story that ended their lives.