In mid-October, the families of Kyle Careford and Michael Owen released a video taken by the two young men shortly before they fatally crashed into a church wall in Sussex, England, near where both lived.
The video, intended by the families as a cautionary tale to other drivers, showed Careford and Owen laughing, following another vehicle erratically in the dark, and pointing the camera at a speedometer reading nearly 100–more than three times the speed limit. There is a pause and crackling shortly after the speedometer is shown, and then emergency personnel are heard talking. The two are believed to have died instantly. The impact of the Renault’s crash tore a hole in the church wall. According to the Guardian, the two young men were on “a cocktail of drugs,” both prescription and illegal. The video was retrieved from Owen’s cell phone after the crash.
Although this accident took place in England, statistics for people driving under the influence of drugs in the U.S. shows a high rate of involvement in fatal collisions. Nearly 20% of drivers killed in a vehicle crash tested positive for drugs, according to U.S. statistics on drugged driving. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey showed over 20% of car drivers registered positive results when tested for illegal, over the counter, or prescription drugs.
Owen’s mother was adamant that the choices the young men made meant that they were entirely to blame for the crash. She is quoted as saying that the release of video, which has gone viral, is worth it if it “stops one person from making the same mistake…and make them see that a bit of fun can have such devastating consequences.”
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