Families are mourning the loss of Ashton Sweet, a popular freshman cheerleader from Northwood High School in Irvine, CA today.   She was left brain dead when a man allegedly ran a red light and broadsided the Mercedes she was riding in.    She is being kept on life support so her organs can be donated to other families.   According to the OC Register,  “Court records show a man with the same name and birth date has had several run-ins with the law, including a conviction in June 2009 where he pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, battery on a peace officer and driving with a suspended license.”

It’s always tough when a tragedy hits your neighborhood.   It appears this man has a long history of drug and alcohol abuse.   One report indicated that a minor drug possession charge was dropped against the driver, Austin Jeffrey Farley, last Friday.      Amid the grieving process, hopefully the mourning students will embrace the reality that drinking and driving, or driving while high, can be a life-changing decision.

These kids tried to do the right thing, and their parents were bringing them home to make sure that they would be safe at home.   But they came less than a mile short of their destination because of an apparent drunk driver.     The Teensavers team is wishing the best for the Sweet family.

While this driver was a 26-year-old adult, it is always good to remind families to keep teens alcohol and drug free.    In Irvine, there are pro-family campaigns like TARGET21 to help promote the message of a sober adolescence.