In the car, the driver is law
On Tuesday, Trevor Clark was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Clark admitted in court he was responsible for the death of a woman he called his soul mate, Tracy Fein, when he fell asleep at the wheel while the couple was on their way to Burning Man.
Fein was not buckled in when the car left the road.
Clark had illegal amounts of controlled substances in his system, so it is no surprise he fell asleep.
He won’t be getting out of prison for at least a half-dozen years for not only what he did, but also for what his passenger did, which was unbuckle her seatbelt.
As the driver, Clark was responsible for more than his own actions, he was also responsible for the actions of his passenger.
With Christmas and New Year’s falling over long weekends, a lot of folks will be driving to see family and friends.
If there is one lesson we can all take away from the tragedy that ended Fein’s life and sent Clark to prison for a long time, it is for drivers to take responsibility for the lives in their care.
Whether you’re headed to Burning Man or the grocery store, make sure everyone is strapped in when you go on the road. The seatbelts aren’t for when things go well, but when things go very, very wrong.
And passengers, remember that the driver is the pilot and must be able to concentrate.
And most of all, be careful.