Letter: Young girl's life needlessly lost

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An 8-year-old girl is killed by an alleged drunken driver. Somewhere, there is a young boy whose future immediately changed. The girl he would have married on some distant date is dead. Neither he nor anyone else (except God) will ever know that he was the one. The children they would have had will never be born. The potentially vast tree of descendants they would have produced will never be filled out.

My sister and I traced our paternal family tree back to Stephan Siefert, born in Switzerland in 1614. He is the direct ancestor of the many Safrits, Safriets, Siffords and Seafords who live in our area. Out of curiosity, I looked at the family trees on ancestry.com of other Safri(e)ts, Siffords, and Seafords from here in Rowan County that descend from Stephan Siefert. It is amazing how many names are on his family tree. It numbers in the many thousands of people who would never have been born, including my children and myself, if Stephan Siefert had died without having a family.

The dead 8-year-old might have had thousands of descendants had she lived. Who knows what the world has lost because of her death? Many young (and old) drivers seem to think that cars are toys and booze is “party water.” They need to be aware of the enormity of the crime they risk committing when they drink and drive. This accident didn’t just kill a young girl. One could almost argue it was genocide. It is hard to imagine a more needless death than to be killed by a drunken driver.

Isn’t it time for our society to start working a little harder to prevent this slaughter on the highways? As with many other things, it’s what we tolerate that ultimately hurts us the most.

— Mike Safrit

China Grove