LOSING LUCY: The Risks of Impaired Driving
By: NC SADD Student
All our lives, we hear people tell us not to drink and drive and all of the repercussions that are likely to come from this dangerous decision, yet for some reason, we continue to make it to this day. Lucy Cameron Wiley was only 16 years old, and she wasn’t even the one driving. On July 15, 2020, she was at a sleepover with two of her friends, and there was a little bit of drinking involved. After a couple of drinks, the girls decided that they were really hungry. The girl whose house they were staying at was the soberest and decided to drive them to Cookout. That one decision changed their lives and everyone they loved lives forever.
Around midnight, their parents all received the phone call that every parent dreads getting. Two of the girls were in the hospital, and one of them didn’t make it. That’s the only information they were told other than to get to the hospital as soon as possible. The other passenger had a broken back that still isn’t back to normal, and it probably never will be. She can’t even sit up straight. The driver had a severe concussion and multiple staples in her head. She had migraines so bad that she would have to go to the hospital at three in the morning to get medicine pumped into her veins through an IV because that’s the only thing that helped. It’s crazy. Out of the three girls, the one that decided to get behind the wheel of the car is the one with the least severe injuries.
Lucy was one of my closest friends. She was one of the most beautiful people, inside and out, that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She had the heart and spirit of a true angel. She loved animals, almost every person she met, sunsets, the color yellow, deep conversations that helped her get to know people better, she loved everything and everyone. She loved hearing people’s life stories, giving advice, and simply being there for anybody that needed her even if it was only an ear to hear them or a shoulder to cry on. She was, without a doubt, the most amazing person I have ever known, and I don’t think I’ll ever meet someone quite like Lucy Wiley. There was something special about that girl, and for some reason, she had to be the one to go. I know that if she were still here, she would’ve done big things by now and made a huge impact on her community. I wish she was still here because I would love to be able to watch that girl blossom even more and encourage everybody around her to be a better person like she did when she was still with us. I do think, however, that she made an impact even after she passed, but sometimes I question how serious some people took it.
To this day, I see so many people, some of who even knew Lucy personally, making the same mistake that those girls made that night. It makes me wonder what it takes. What does it take to get the message across to people that it’s not worth it? What more does it take than losing somebody you knew or even were once close with? When Lucy passed, my entire high school felt the pain deep down in their stomachs. That beautiful soul had no idea how many lives she affected, and that’s one of the things that hurts the most.
Losing Lucy was easily the most difficult thing that I have ever had to go through. We went from talking all the time to her not even being on the same planet. I still talk to her sometimes when I need guidance because that’s what I did when she was still here. I know Lucy would want me to share her story, so I really do pray that this changes the mind of even one person that is considering driving after even one drink.
Please listen to her story and really process it. One, easily preventable, stupid, reckless decision and nothing will ever be the same. I lost one of my best friends, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from it. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anybody, so please don’t ever put yourself in the position to even risk having to go through it. Call an Uber or a parent. I promise your parents would much rather get that call than the one that those three girls’ parents received. Don’t get behind a wheel after a night of drinking or even one drink. Don’t get in a car with somebody who has been drinking. Don’t let your friends get in a car with somebody who has been drinking or drive after drinking. There are so many ways around drinking and driving, so please, I’m begging you, put your safety and the safety of others first, be smarter, and make the right decision. Make the decision the two girls who are still here wish they had made that night of July 15, 2020.