"God had a better plan for her than I had." -- Doug Caracofe, Amy's fatherThe photo on the front of today's Waynesboro News-Virginian shows a beautiful young lady ... long blonde hair, tanned, bright smile ... who is being mourned by family and friends after Thursday's fatal crash that took the life of Amy Caracofe at the age of 17. The large front page tribute asks the question, "Why?"
Augusta County is full of twisty, narrow mountain roads with blind curves and hills that are dangerous for experienced drivers ... and can be deadly for teens with limited driving experience.
Amy died on a road she drove on a regular basis between home and school, Dam Town Road, a picturesque rural thoroughfare that winds through farmland and woods. The posted speed limit is 45 ... but it is estimated she was speeding along at 70 mph, perhaps in a hurry after leaving Fort Defiance High School a little past 11:00 Thursday morning to rush home, change clothes, and attend her afternoon classes at Valley Vo-Tech in Fishersville. The assignment that day was to dress in the profession students planned to pursue. Amy wanted to be a nurse.
A friend drove by moments after the crash and thought the Toyota Celica wrapped around the tree looked familiar ... and then he spied a pink plastic lei hanging from the rear-view mirror, crumpled back to almost touch the rear bumper, and knew it was Amy's vehicle. He had teased her about the silly-looking lei ... there was no mistake about who was involved in the crash.
The photo in the newspaper showed a barely-recognizable vehicle crumpled around what appeared to be a locust tree ... the Toyota was destroyed ... but the tree was barely scathed with only some missing bark to serve as a reminder of the tragedy that had occurred there.
The tree has now become a memorial as high school friends stop to leave a tribute ... a heart is attached to the tree with red masking tape, messages have been written, flowers are placed at the base. Friends weep as they lean on one another for support, trying to make sense of something that happens far too often throughout the country.
Amy was an only child. Her parents, too, are trying to make sense of the loss. Her mother hopes it will help other teens to realize the danger associated with driving and speed even as she mourns the loss of her best friend who was a former cheerleader, lifeguard, swim teacher, and rescue squad volunteer.
Michael Owens with the Waynesboro News Virginian has an excellent article in the January 5 issue. It was not avaliable online as of 11:00 this morning; it is front page coverage in hard copy.
Our prayers and thoughts go out to this family during this difficult time. As a mother I cannot imagine the heartache of losing a child ... may Amy's mom and dad find strength to weather this storm.
- Augusta County teen killed in car crash
- Amy Caracofe ... 1990-2008 -- Augusta teen killed in car crash