Posted by Alyson Colton, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 17, 2010 at 6:09 am
This is a very tragic situation all the way around; and before any of the “regular” commentators who use this column to continually spew venom and negative comments about anything involving our community or the kids in it, I want to set the record straight.
Two lives were lost on Sunday evening. Justin; who (according to what has been reported thus far, and not all investigative results have been concluded yet), might not have made some very sound choices that night. The other life “lost” was that of the driver of the car involved; who will carry this horrible tragedy with him for the rest of his life. Two boys, two families; forever changed in a matter of 2 seconds.
It is my hope that before anyone begins the disgusting diatribe that is so often seen in the Danville Weekly “comments section” (which I wish, would be done away with anyways); that you think before you speak and remember what is truly vital here. There are two families in our community who are reeling with grief at this very moment. Two families who I have personally come into contact with and can tell you that both are upstanding and have contributed so much to what is so great about our community. They are consistent parents who have not “over-indulged” their children, and have always looked out for others.
So please, instead of condemning innocent teenagers and judging their families ... let’s just try and hold them in our hearts and in our prayers. They need all the support they can get right now.
Posted by SRV Mom, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 17, 2010 at 7:34 am
Alyson, what you have said is exactly what I have been telling my kids...this is truly a time where a few seconds before, everyone was probably smiling and happy and enjoying some time with friends before they go off to colleges and in a blink, lives are changed forever. This could have happened to my kids; a spontaneous decision with no malicious intent whatsoever. My heart goes out to both families... there but the grace of God....
Posted by Sad parent, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 8:04 am
I have been so upset and disturbed about this sad loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the all the families involved. I didn't know Justin or his family, but my first prayer this morning was for their them.
My son and his friends had seen Justin earlier in the evening.
My son and his friends were at our home last night and were shocked and saddened by the incident. I grabbed the opportunity to tell them how much we all love them. That as they all go off to college, to please make good decisions and that life is so precious. Teenagers are very impulsive and sometimes are "only in the moment".
Posted by Tania De Young, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 8:34 am
Thank you to everyone that has given us their love and support. We wish to extend our deepest concern to the driver, his family, and all the passengers in the car. This was a horrific tragedy, an accident, where no one was at fault. Justin had such incredible energy and spirit that, as a parent, we had to put our faith in God to watch over him. We grieve not only for our loss but for the occupants and driver of the car who were not at fault. Please support all these young people, especially the driver who is a fine and honorable young man, as they struggle with this accident. They deserve our love and compassion.
Posted by A sad neighbor, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:07 am
My thoughts and prayer are going out to all involved in this terrible accident, especially to the De Young family. Tania your words above are beautiful, what an amazing person you are to be thinking of others at this time. I don't know any of those involved but I am feeling a deep loss as I speak with friends who know the families and see their sorrow. God will hold on to you tightly and not let go, I pray that you feel his presence.
Posted by Linda Crowe, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:36 am
Dear Tania and the families involved: My son woke me up last night to tell me of this tragedy. Our hearts are broken. Justin was a sweet boy. Words can't even convey my sorrow for you and all of us in losing him. Our prayers are with you all.
Posted by Julia, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 10:56 am
Well Alyson Colton, your first 2 paragraphs were well said and appreciated.
Your second 2 paragraphs were shameful.
It appears you are the only one with potential negative thoughts. You should never assume anything. I don't know if you are a student or a parent...either way, you should have been taught...never, never assume anything.
Dear Tania and all the families involved, I to would like to express my condolences.
Posted by Louise, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 11:47 am
Wow, this is a sad reminder to our children and US, that simple mistakes can change lives. My heart goes out to ALL the families involved. And to Tania, thank you for setting a beautiful example to all of us of how to react/handle such a tragic situation. You have done it with class- it will continue to be difficult- but I can tell you are strong and have a spirit of forgiveness and understanding that I wish ALL of us could have. Let us all send positive energy and love to all the families! They will continue to need it!
Posted by SRV parent, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 17, 2010 at 11:50 am
Alyson - Thank you for finding the words of what we are all thinking. It's so hard to make sense of the this tragic accident but as time goes by it will become clearer why the Lord chose this wonderful young man to join him. Tania - by the grace of your comforting words inspite of such overwhelming grief, it's easy to see that Justin was raised in such a loving & caring family. Our prayers & thoughts are with your family and everyone else involved.
Posted by John Tanner, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 11:55 am
Very tragic and very unfortunate. There are many friends and acquaintances that are sad right now that are grieving.
To the driver, thank you for stepping up to your responsibility to not drink and drive. Yours and all others that abide by this practice should be commended. Undoubtedly many lives have been spared by exemplary individuals like yourself. Several Danville teens I know of have been pulled over recently by the Danville Police. Upon learning that their human passengers have been drinking, the officers immediately breathalyze the drivers and in each case, the drivers have had zero alcohol in their systems. Thank you drivers for your diligence in this most important behavior. Anyway the driver was alcohol free on what was an underage drinking night. I am sorry this happend for all involved and truly sorry for losing a fin young man.
Posted by Alyson Colton, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm
just to explain my ending paragraphs; I was so appalled at the comments that were made in the comment section immediately following the tragic Blackhawk fire article in June and the insinuations that were made (more than once)about how it started. At least 6 people "assumed" things about the young man (may his memory be a blessing)and what he might have been doing before the fire. They were things that I can't even repeat without getting sick to my stomach.
With all of that said (and this is my last comment), the thought of that diatribe taking place over this situation which involves kids that I deeply care about unnerved me and so yes, I did "assume" that it would happen again.
Posted by SRV Senior, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm
It's funny how one second you can be on top of the world, having fun with your friends, not really giving a care.
And then the next second you're scraping rock bottom and your friend is dead.
I wanna share my deepest condolences with pretty much everyone who was in that car on that fateful night. Everyone is grieving for the DeYoung family and the driver, but you're forgetting about everybody else. Everyone who was there is going to be in shock for a good while. Trauma isn't something that fades away just like that, it can last for years, recovery could take decades.
If you know anybody who was there on the scene when it happened, comfort them. They may not ask for it, and they may deny your help, but they sorely need it. The first few months are crucial. Please help these people to the best of your ability.
Posted by tamara, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm
Alyson, what you wrote (and expanded upon) was wise and wonderful and moving. truly a gift. my heart breaks for all involved and my prayers go out to the deyoung family and to the families of those in the car. god bless.
Posted by jrm, a member of the Vista Grande Elementary School community, on Aug 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm jrm is a member (registered user) of Danville Express
Those of us that are fellow members of St. Timothy's or friends of Tania's are in awe but not surprised by her words of grace and comfort to all involved in this tragedy. I always respected her service in various capacities to our little church and far beyond to global health issues. In my view, there are a whole lot of little boys and girls in heaven that needed a worthy big brother and Justin is already sharing his gifts with those that needed it most....
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 6:39 pm
This is such a truly sad event.
To the De Young family: I offer my condolences and thank you for your loving comment above. Remember to take strength in all of your wonderful memories of your son. I do believe in God’s kingdom, and from what I have read here, your son belongs there to live in peace forever.
To all of the witnesses including the driver: Nothing can take away the horrible site you must have seen, but time will make the bad memories fad so that you can remember a good friend.
To Alyson Colton: I’m not sure if you were referring to me in your very negative comment above, but in my opinion, there isn’t anything anyone can say about this except that it was a tragic accident. Kids make bad choices sometimes; it doesn’t say anything about the way they were raised.
To jrm: beautiful, just beautiful, thank you for sharing!
Posted by mother of a son, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm
I am overwhelmed by the love, compassion, empathy and forgiveness in Tania De Young's post. May God bless you always. May Justin be at peace somewhere where you will be together again someday. May everyone involved, especially the driver, find grace and healing in the loving light of generous forgiveness demonstrated by Justin's mother's post. May her warm spirit be a healing balm, and may the whole community reach out to the De Young family not just now, but in the difficult years ahead.
Posted by Candace, a resident of the Diablo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm
Julia, I agree with the others that your comments to Alyson were uncalled for. Quite frankly, I too am shocked I haven't seen any negative comments regarding this tragedy whether it be aimed at the young people involved in underage drinking, the police for not having pychic abilities to be there and stop this before it happened, the fire dept for not being quick enough in their response to save the young man's life, the town traffic engineers for having/not having speed bumps ...the possibilities of blame are endless with some people. My point is, it has been refreshing to see only compassionate comments regarding this very unfortunate incident on this site. My deepest sympathies for those who will be personally affected by this forever.
Posted by SRVHS Parent, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 18, 2010 at 12:00 am
From news accounts attributed to the Danville Police, the chain of events lasted only a few seconds. Our hearts go out to the DeYoung family, the driver and their family, and all of Justin's friends, there that night and all that knew him. The compassion the deYoung family has shown is incredibly inspiring.
Posted by SRV Mom, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 18, 2010 at 7:47 am
Thank you for your comments, John Tanner. Most of these kids amaze me with their sense of responsibility. They take friends' keys and drive them home when they are the "designated, sober, driver". Mike: Shame on you.
Posted by mother of a son, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2010 at 8:16 am
How many of us did spur of the moment questionable things in our youth? How many times were we in situations that could have cost us our lives? All of our kids do impulsive, daring and stupid things at one time or another. How many times do I yell at my son for skateboarding (with no helmet) in places where there could be a vehicle?
It could have been any of our kids who did what Justin did. And it could have been any of our kids driving the car. Have some empathy before you are so quick to self-righteously judge. Judgment is easy, compassion not so easy because we want to distance ourselves and our families from what happened. But it could have been our family.
Hopefully the whole situation gives all of us pause. It tells our children they are not as invincible as they feel in the heady time of their youth. They are not invulnerable. None of us are.
Everyone wishes they could go back to that painfully cruel night and have different outcome.
Getting our kids to a mature and less impulsive adulthood is not so easy. Many kids are in situations at some point that could have cost them their lives but come through unscathed. Justin was not so lucky.
But life itself is a risk. Virtually every time I drive to work someone speeding on the freeway practically clips my car or another car with dangerous passing. And the people driving these cars are usually adults.
My heart goes out to Justin's family and their shining light of compassion for the driver and everyone involved that night. My heart also breaks for the driver, who could have been any of our children.
Posted by Marie, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2010 at 11:22 am
This is when the problems start here at the Danville Weekly. One common-sense comment, not meant to hurt anyone, gets pounced on! Mike was right. Maybe, in this case, the driver didn’t have time to react. But, we should use this tragic accident as an example to teach our kids.
- Don’t drink & drive (which apparently is not the case in this situation).
- Don’t take chances with your life (a car is a weapon, a deadly weapon).
- Life is short, take every advantage and opportunity in life. Get a good education, treat all people with respect, be honest, and live a good, healthy, and happy life.
Thank you Justin for reminding us of these life lessons! Rest in peace!
Posted by lisa begin, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm
God Bless Justin and his family at this tragic time. Justin was a very good friend of my daughters and this has rocked their friends the entire community. He was a great friend and a great young man. My heart breaks for them. The driver and his family are also amazing people. Let's hold them all up in prayer as a community or send them light or love or whatever your belief system tells you to do. Let's also remember them a week, or a month or a year from now when we have all gone back to our lives and they are still trying to make sense of this insurmountable loss. We grieve with you. We love you guys and will keep you in our prayers!
Posted by Tomas, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 9:48 pm
Prayers to all involved in this tragic accident. This could happen to any young person as we are not wise when we are young. From what I hear this was a very good kid and had much to give to society. I have spoken to my sixteen year old son about this incident so perhaps a lesson may be gained.
Posted by danville luvr, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Aug 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm
The problem is hind sight is 20/20 and doesn't change a thing- I would like to believe that you were only trying to point that out so that in the future everyone should be more careful. There are situations, until you personnally are in them, you can not understand or explain. ALL accidents could have been avoided if they hadn't happened. But that is not really living if you conduct yourself that way- These two young men were doing things we all have done and just by the grace of God we survived- but God has bigger and better plans for Justin.
To the deYoung family, driver of the SUV and his family, and the friends that were there- my heart goes out to you all- you are all in our prayers.
Mike- I didn't get to read your other post (they were taken off) but I feel that any one that keeps coming back to this has truly been affected by this loss and I will keep you in my prayers as well.
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Sep 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm
I agree with the above comment. Although harsh, people need to realize, just because you die, you dont turn into a hero. Go on Facebook, look at any of Justins pictures. He was a moron who lived life by the bottle and the drugs and he inspired others to do the same. Im not sayng its good he passed on, but its one less bad influence the already ruined kids of danville have to listen to. Sorry Justin, but you were not a hero and you have destroyed some peoples lives. Live fast, die young
Posted by Montair Teacher, a member of the Montair Elementary School community, on Sep 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm
Dear Michael & John,
Is this really the avenue for personal vendettas? Shame on you! You are alive and I am sure you are not perfect, who is? Why would you post such inappropriate comments? Justin was wonderful young man who at times didn't make the right choices...do you always make the best choices at all times? May god bless all those involved, it is truly tragic and Justin you are forever in our hearts.
Posted by community mom, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm
Thank you for your heartfelt comment Montair teacher.
Things written on the Internet, true or false, personal opinion or fact, objective or subjective, remain forever- always only a Google click away. John and Michael, to say unkind things about a young man who is now dead, knowing that his parents and people who loved him will be reading this, knowing that they already deeply regret at least one choice that Justin made, they nevertheless love him dearly and always will. To feel a need to make those kinds of negative comments in this type of public forum, comments deeply hurtful to those who loved Justin, well, just who, exactly, is not the nicest person, Justin or you?
Posted by John, a member of the San Ramon Valley High School community, on Oct 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Why am I at fault? I am only saying what is true. No I am not perfect, and I expect people to talk truthfully about me when I die. How stupid is that? When someone dies they turn into a Danville hero, Its sick the way you people work. Yes its sad. Is it right he died at such a young age? Who knows! Some people may say yes because of the life he lived. If your going to live that life, pay the consequences. I cant wait to see the toxicology report on Justin.