A 17-year-old high school football player, who was reportedly drinking and driving a Subaru station wagon filled with teens who had been drinking and possibly using drugs, died after he lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over. Three of his classmates were seriously injured of which one girl is said to be critically injured and fighting for her life, according to news reports in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.
Cody James Murphy, a running back on the varsity football team who was driving the vehicle, died after the 2007 Subaru Impreza rolled over and crashed on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Investigators reportedly found a large, empty bottle of Jagermeister on the floor of the car, a glass pipe and a pill bottle containing medical marijuana. Investigators also reported that the teens were not wearing their seatbelts.
In a horrible ironic twist, the Ventura County high school these kids were attending, was going to stage a mock car crash as part of the “Every 15 Minutes” program, designed to show children the effects of drunk driving. It’s an elaborate exercise where students first look at the horrible drunk driving crash, attend the funeral of a “dead” student and even make a trip to the morgue. But now they have a dose of harsh reality. They will attend a real funeral and visit seriously injured friends in the hospital.
Obviously, the driver of the car, Cody, was a person full of life and potential. It is saddening to think that such a life had to be lost unnecessarily and senselessly. According to news reports Cody was driving a car belonging to a friend’s parent. Investigators could reportedly smell the alcohol on Cody’s body and on the passengers – three 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old.
This incident clearly illustrates how important it is for parents to talk to their kids and teach them how important it is to not drink and drive. Parents must not only preach, but lead by example. Our condolences go out to Cody’s family. They and other victims and their families will be in our prayers. We wish them a speedy recovery.
This horrible accident is a clarion call to all young people to use their best judgment before they decide to get behind the wheel. You are not invincible and yes, it can certainly happen to you. Please do not drink and drive.