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Making the right decision
By Kelley Chambers, firstname.lastname@example.org, @KelleyChambers7 on Twitter
I received an email I never expected to get on Monday.
It was from my daughter's Sunday school teacher. She informed the parents of our church that one of our kids had passed away. John Paul Raidy was a first-grader who attended our church in Plano about once a month at the 10:45 service, when he was with his dad and stepmom.
"John was crossing the street with his mom and sister and was struck by a car that ran a red light," she stated. "He will be greatly missed."
At around 7:30 last Thursday night, the family was walking to their home in Grand Prairie when a car ran the red light. The car hit little John Paul and carried him on the hood for nearly an entire block, according to police.
In the email, our elementary pastor encouraged us to talk to our kids about this and to keep the boy's family in our prayers. Although my daughter, Audrey, did not recall ever meeting John in class, I paused the episode of "Pound Puppies" on our DVR and told her what had happened. I debated on whether or not I should do this - after all, I opted not to tell her about the Sandy Hook tragedy. However, this was different. This was not a malicious massacre; it was accidental and it hit very close to home.
However, I think what really made me feel even more sad was the fact that the person who hit this little boy did not even stop - not during the block where John was carried on the hood of his car, nor the moment he hit the ground. Police said the driver ran a light that investigators determined had been red for 14 seconds, according to news reports.
Before I jump on the bandwagon and call this individual despicable and a scumbag, I'm trying to put myself in their shoes. Sometimes it's hard to right the wrongs, undo a misguided mistake. That person made their life much more difficult when they decided to keep going.
It didn't take long before this individual had a change of heart. On Tuesday, Tammy Lowe, a Grand Prairie middle school teacher turned herself in to police. A seventh-grade teacher at Adams Middle School, Lowe clearly realized the error of her judgment. All it took was a couple of sleepless nights to put away her shame and do what was right.
I've always been told it's never too late. It must have taken a lot to come forward and admit to such a pitiful crime. But I think not coming forward would be much more damning. In the end, I'm thankful that John's family is one step closer in finding the closure and justice they deserve.
Kelley Chambers is the Live & Local editor for Star Newspapers and a reporter for the McKinney Courier-Gazette. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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