It is with a heavy heart I write this week’s blog. For the second time in less than nine months, we lost two shinning stars in our family. First, it was my great-nephew, Devon Burgess, aged 19 years old, who was killed in a car crash in Brooklyn, New York. Secondly, a week ago, my wife’s cousin eldest son, Davieonne Kelly, aged 20 years old, was killed by a driver driving under the influence of alcohol. You have never read about these young men or seen them on TV, because they were not involved in any of the gang lifestyles many in the media report on nightly. Devon was about to enroll last May at Berkeley University in California and Daveionne was in training to become a US Ranger. He has been on several field trips across the country and was excited about becoming a Ranger. After Devon’s untimely death, I was inspired to write this blog, “Curbing Bad Behavior.” Now with the passing of Davieonne, I am requesting people all over the world don’t drink, get tipsy and drive.
The San Diego News reported Davieonne, of Perris, California, was driving a 1992 Toyota Camry with two passengers and was headed north on Interstate 15 when his car was struck from behind by a 2003 Nissan Altima. The Altima was driven by 49-year-old Katherine Heinzel, a retired Police Officer of Winchester, who was traveling at a high rate of speed. Both drivers lost control and veered across the northbound lanes, crashed through the metal guard rail and traveled down a steep embankment. One of the Camry’s passengers, Kris Walker, 19, of Perris, pulled Heinzel from the wrecked Altima before it caught fire. Walker sustained moderate injuries and the car’s other passenger, Brian Morast Jr., 20, sustained major injuries and was taken to a hospital where he was in critical condition. Heinzel also sustained major injuries in the crash and was taken to a hospital. She is being held on suspicion of drunken driving. Davieonne died from the injuries he sustained caused by the accident.
About 10 years ago, I stopped drinking alcohol. I joined my brother, Gordon, and several of my friends such as Chris Jonz, Greg Peck and Michael Stradford in refraining from consuming alcohol. It is one of the best decisions I have made. Whenever I am stopped by Police Officers for whatever reason they conjured up, I am amazed at their facial expressions when I remarked “I don’t drink” in answer to the question “how much you had to drink tonight?” So, as the holidays near, please remember to don’t drink, get tipsy and drive. The live you save maybe your own.
I will missed these two handsome, intelligent, Christian and well-behaved young men. Hopefully, their lives will be an inspiration to the other young men who are members of our family. Rest In Peace Devon and Davieonne.