The tragic death of 19-year-old Petaluma, Calif., resident Alyssa Byrne raises a couple of issues, but that she appeared to be alone when she died is a critical one for us.
We don't want to be seen as lecturing or chiding, especially when dealing with the death of a young person who was by all accounts beloved in her community.
But we hope that Carson Valley parents are using this incident as a teaching moment for their children.
We know that young people will go out into the world. They will experience adventures that may at times put them in harm's way.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with that. It's part of growing up.
But no one should go it alone.
One of the first lessons we learn in kindergarten is about the buddy system. Pair up so that no one is alone. Even better go in large groups. It sounds like Alyssa Byrne had a larger group, but that she got separated from them.
In these days of cell phones, instant messages and tweeting, staying in contact seems simple, but in the case of any kind of failure, being with friends is the best way of staying safe.
If you go out, go in a group and stay with the group.