It was a deadly weekend on DeKalb County roadways, and the wreckage left behind will remain long after the vehicles have been towed away.
Police say drunk-driving accidents claimed the lives of two young people in their 20s. Early Saturday, 20-year-old Tiffany Taylor was killed in a single-car crash on Plank Road near the curve at Moose Range Road outside Sycamore.
Her brother, 19-year-old Tyrus, was behind the wheel. Police say he lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over and hit a utility pole. Tiffany was ejected from the vehicle; her life ended there on the side of the road. Police say the brother and sister were returning from a bonfire; they say there was evidence that Tyrus, 19 and not of legal drinking age, was drunk.
He is now charged with aggravated driving under the influence, which carries a sentence of three to 14 years in prison.
Taylor also must confront the reality that he was behind the wheel in a crash that killed his older sister.
The next night, on Dresser Road in DeKalb, police say 26-year-old Victoria Hale of DeKalb was killed when her car left the road and hit a tree around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Hale was a nurse at Kindred Hospital in Sycamore. She was alone in the car that night, but she was a single mother of a young child who will now grow up with only the faintest memories of her mother.
These terrible outcomes should be a stark reminder to anyone who considers driving under the influence a victimless crime. There are real consequences. Irreparable damage can be done.
No matter how young you are or how well you think you can “hold your liquor,” no one is immortal and no one is immune. When you drink and drive, you risk hurting yourself, those you love and innocent bystanders.
So, please, don’t do it. Have a designated driver, call a someone for a ride if you’re too drunk to drive, or just stay where you are and sleep it off.
Don’t get behind the wheel and put your life and the lives of others at risk. It’s just not worth it.