Photographs by Laurie @ Horizons Photography

June 29, 2011

split second decision

If you live anywhere near Toronto, or in Canada for that matter you would have heard the tragedy of Garrett Styles, the York region Constable who died in the line of duty early Tuesday morning. In a routine traffic stop he was leaning in to remove the keys and turn off the ignition of the van when the teen behind the wheel made a split second decision that has left many lives destroyed. He accelerated, dragging officer Styles and ultimately pinning him when the van flipped. He radioed for help and his thoughts and concern were not for himself but for the kids in the van. Help arrived but it was too late, he died not long after the accident in the hospital, leaving a wife and two very young children without a husband and father. The teen that was driving, an unlicensed fifteen year old has been left with neck and spine injuries that could land him in a wheel chair for the rest of his life is now facing murder charges. One spit second, that was all it took for this horrendous tragedy to happen. My heart breaks for the family, I think of my own children and husband and I ache for Mellisa (Constable Styles wife) and I will be praying for her and her young children.

There is a lot of rage as well at the young man who was driving that morning, and in my heart I can't seem to summon the anger. He is fifteen, young and dumb and about to face the consequences for that decision, consequences that will last him the rest of his life. Should there be consequences, yes, without hesitation but my heart still aches for him as well. This is a tragedy on all fronts, his life will never be the same, his parents lives will never be the same, and the lives of everyone who knew Garrett Styles will NEVER be the same.

If only's are just that... if only's, his choice, his split second decision changed lives in the worst possible way and he will never be able to undo it. The big question, the question that plagues me, is what will be do with the lesson that this young man learned? Will be make smarter decisions, will we teach our children to make wiser choices? Will Garrett Styles' death and his families suffering be in vain or will this lesson be one that stays with us and reminds us that vehicles are deadly weapons that have the power to destroy lives in a split second...

My heart and prayers go out to the Styles family and to the family of the young man who now must face the music of his tragic choice.