January 26, 2008
By Tiffany Nobles, Yorktown, VA

Every high school student across the globe thinks at seventeen and eighteen years old, they are invincible. Death is not something they teach you in a class room, it is something you have to experience for yourself. When the word death comes to mind most people cringe and look the other way, until you can not look away anymore.
Senior year the best year of your life, or so they tell me. You order cap and gowns, class t shirts, you send out college applications, and you make memories that you can carry with you to college. But when tragedy strikes at the tinder ages of seventeen and eighteen, the best year of your life is not longer that.
It was one of those rare warm days in the middle of December, just one week before Christmas break. Every one is the school was getting excited and anxious about their plans for the break. Some were going skiing, other going to see family as far away as Germany, and others were just going to stay here. Everything went on like a normal day, every one left the school as soon as the clock stuck 1:47, only two days left till the weekend was on most kids mind. But that all changed in an instant. At 2:00 less than half a mile from the school a jeep Cherokee flipped three times trying to catch the light. Many students drove right by the crash sight not even able to tell who’s car it was because it was so smashed. It was not till that night that the entire school found out that there was a fatality in the crash. One of are own, a senior honor student who was turning 18 the very next day. Immediately my phone was ring off the hook. “Did you hear?” “I can not believe she’s gone just like that.” For many of us in the senior class this was the first taste of the outside world. We learned later that night that she had been partially ejected from the car and had not been wearing a seat belt. The other three passengers were wearing there seat belt and walked away with barely a scratch.
The next day at school was like no other day at school. There were people dressed in all black, others in the library crying with friends embracing them. Most teachers canceled quizzes and tests for the rest of the week, and were there for you to talk to them. In the third period probability and statistics class, all twenty seniors just sat in the dark for the entire period. Orange and black ribbons were passed out for every one to wear in her honor.
That afternoon at the intersection of the accident students gathered to say their last good byes and set up a memorial. Happy Birthday balloons were hung from the one way sign along with a red and green cross, a display board was also placed at the memorial with pictures and friends signatures. People stayed out all night holding candle light vigils. Everyone was embracing each other with consoling words and memories.
Three days later was the funeral. The majority of the senior class left school early to say one last goodbye to their friend and classmate. Over 300 people came to say goodbye. Not a single person left the church that day with a dry eye. At the burial sight everybody let white balloons go at the end of the prayer.
In losing one of our classmates the entire school became a community. We all learned that no matter how young you are you are not invinsible and that something a simple as wearing a seat belt must always be done. We will never forget are classmate that we lost our senior year, she will always be with us where ever we go.

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