Nearly 300 high school students and their parents filed grimly into an auditorium Tuesday night to talk about the recent “epidemic,” as one parent called it, of teenagers who drink, drive and die. “It’s been a hard year,” Montgomery County, Md., police officer Michael Prather told the group. This year, 11 teenagers have died in car accidents in the county. “Alcohol seems to be the underlying issue, oftentimes,” said Prather, according to an account in the Washington Post.
In the latest case, Sarkis Nazarian Jr., 16, died at 1:30 a.m. Saturday after the Jeep he was driving hit a tree in Potomac. Police have said he and his two 16-year-old passengers, who were slightly injured, had been drinking at an unsupervised party before the accident. In the days since, parents have been anxious with fear that “he could have been mine,” as many said yesterday, and with concern about how to prevent the Nazarians’ fate from becoming their own. One mother said, “You can’t stop kids from drinking. But you can stop them from driving.”