March 6th, 2018. At 17 years old your life came to an end at the screech of car breaks. The dead silence in the school hallways the next day is a deafening sound I will never forget. Confusion and pain flooded out through the classrooms as we realized we’d never see your smiling face again. One yellow light, he could not bare to wait for the next green. Your car tumbled across the freeway, shrapnel littered across the ground You couldn’t be saved. Tears still stream my cheeks as I type on my keyboard. I remember putting a balloon in the ground in the weeks after; for you. The air was cold, but not as cold and the hollow in my heart your loss left me. This pain is a reality for all from a small town in Illinois and it will never cease. We needed a rose like you. Thoughts race through my mind; why couldn’t he just wait for the next light. The sacrifice you were forced to make saved several lives through organ donations. They will live on because of your bravery. But how can we live on without you? Olivia Rose We will never forget you. The next time anyone reading this hits a yellow light. Please slow down. It can wait. No life is worth getting to your destination even one minute earlier.
Back Story: On March 7th, 2018 in Normal Illinois, a 17 year old girl I was lucky enough to call my friend had her life stolen from her at the hands of reckless driving. The man sped up at a yellow light and plowed into her car driving the opposite way at the next green. The traffic light timestamps left the case inconclusive and the man that hit her with his car walks free. She wasn’t under the influence and neither was he. In fact 75% of fatal teen car crashes do not involve drugs or alcohol. They were just two cars not driving carefully enough and this is the price she had to pay. There is no justice in that. There is no amount of justice that can absolve the pain I still feel everyday when I remember things even as small as Olivia telling me she liked my shoes in parenting class. Olivia Rose Sonetz was a soul on fire, she touched anyone and everyone she met with her infectious smile. I am honored to tell her story today to even one person reading this and write a piece that may be able to spread the word of care against reckless driving.