The death of a drug dealer (or, am I a heartless bitch?)

A tragedy rocked my little suburbian area this weekend. Perhaps “rocked” is too strong a word…but most people at least flinched uncomfortably upon hearing the news.

Here’s the basic story…two guys, ages 17 and 19, died at 6:30 am Saturday morning in a car wreck. The wreck was completely their fault, as the driver (the 19-year-old) was going a good 105 mph, and lost control. He crossed the median and hit another car, containing an elderly woman and her middle aged daughter, head-on. The boys were drug dealers, plain and simple. They were the kind of kids who were doing drugs in 6th grade, when most kids still believed they’d never even think about trying it. In fact, it is rumored that they were on their way to obtain drugs of some sort that very morning. The 19-year-old graduated from my high school in 1999, and the 17-year-old was in my grade…In fact, he was in my class in 6th and 7th grades, you could say I “used to know” him.

The choked-up principal came over the intercom today and asked us to observe a moment of silence for the loss. Okay, I don’t feel anyone deserves to die prematurely…I am immensely sorry for their families to have to go through the grief of losing a child; I’m sorry for the friends who have to lose the companionship; and I’m sorry that the boys won’t get to live a full life. However, everyone is walking around saying what good people they were, and how awful a tragedy it is…They did it to themselves! Who do I feel the most for?? The two women who were nearly killed by the carelessness of the kids. These boys were nice…I will give them that…nice to most people from what I hear. But they shamelessly endangered the lives of other people by getting out on the road and driving like that. Not to mention their heavy involvement in drugs…I mean, what about all the times they had been out there driving under the influence? What about all the life-altering habits they support?

I feel terrible because I can’t muster up what seems to be an appropriate amount of sympathy for them. Am I wrong here?? What’s yall’s take on it?

Well, you asked for my take, so here it is.

Unfortunately, we are all human and prone to stupid mistakes. The sad thing is, I wouldn’t even have to be drunk or high to kill someone in a car accident. It would only take one bad judgement call. Our lives here are so fragile, but no one seems to see it until another death rocks our world. And then, after the echoes fade, we resume our supposed immortality.

I would feel very sorry for the two boys, but especially their families and friends. Yes, they did “bring it on themselves,” but obviously, people liked them, and that’s what they’re missing. It doesn’t matter that they made some stupid choices; they’re gone. It hurts. And yes, it is a tragedy that two people as young as they were have died.
No, I don’t think you’re a heartless bitch. I really can’t say how I’d feel if it happened in my community. I really don’t think you’re in the wrong; everyone has a different point of view on matters such as these.

I agree with what you say, Just A Girl.

I always find it annoying that after someone dies, it’s considered bad form to say bad things about them, even if they are true. When I die, I want at least one person at the funeral to be brave enough to tell the truth about me. I want at least one sibling or aunt or relative of some stripe to come out and say, “Well, at least we don’t have to put up with his constant whining anymore.”

I think it’s more a case of loss of potential, a life gone wrong, a future lost.

Of course, I have a slight bias here. My teenage cousin was found in a car in the county park with two friends – all three dead of gunshot wounds. It is believed to have been a suicide pact. The three boys had been in a gang and may have been involved in a murder. No one is really sure to this day what really happened.

My cousin was troubled from the start. My aunt and uncle adopted him and his sister at a young age – they came from an abusive, neglectful home. The sister recovered well, but Mitchell just kept getting into trouble with stealing and drugs and the law, despite everything my aunt and uncle tried, including toughlove. He was in and out of the state “reform school” or whatever they call those places these days. I had not seen him for several years at the time he died, and I don’t think his immediate family had, either.

I guess my point is that there are always different perspectives. The family of a victim is surely entitled to feel hate toward the perpetrator of a wrong, and a lack of sympathy upon that person’s death. The wrongdoer’s family will feel different emotions – sorrow for his/her actions, and grief upon his death, as much for the loss of life as for the chance to turn things around. Is any of this right or wrong? No, it’s just how we feel.

In the meantime, every Christmas I hang on the tree the cinnamon-sticks-tied-with-red-ribbon ornament that Mitchell made when he was about 7 and gave one to each family member, and think not of the angry-looking teenager giving a gang sign in the picture printed after his death, but rather of the Campbell’s Soup kid I remember.

A couple of years ago, two kids were killed in a rough area of Newcastle (NE England), joyriders (little joy though) in a stolen car. It was very common at night there. Amongst all the flowers put on the spot where the kids got killed was a note saying “Scum like you deserve to die”. I understood both sides of it I suppose, though I felt little sympathy for the kids involved, they knew what they were getting into and the risks associated with it.

Well, you asked, so here’s my take:

Losing a child is a terrible thing, so for the parents I can feel sympathy.

That’s as far as it goes for me. Seventeen years old is plenty old enough to know that 105MPH is stupid. The kids killed themselves, plain and simple. I can’t see feeling sympathy for anyone else involved, except (as you say) the two who were nearly killed just because they happened to be out driving in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I don’t think it’s a question of whether or not they “deserved” it; to me their “drug dealing” has no bearing on the situation. I don’t care if they were on their way to buy heroin or on their way to church.

It’s more about the choices they made and the consequences of those choices. It’s like mama always said, “THINK before you do something!”.

Then again, I’ve been told I’m a heartless bastard, so draw what conclusions you will.

However, have you considered submitting them for Darwin awards?


Hey, JustAGirl! You must be in my own small part of suburbia! My daughter had a class with Ryan this year. I asked her if he was a “wild” kid, and after affixing me with a withering glare, and informing me that I had asked a major geezerly question, responded in the affirmative.

///end hijack///*
Now, on to the question at hand. While I do feel for those boys’ parents, I can’t help but wonder where they were. Why didn’t they know their kid was out at 6:30am? OTOH, teenagers do tend to withold the truth. So, JustA, no, I do not think you are a heartless bitch in this instance. I, too, am becoming quite jaded to the deaths of those who know better than to do the things they do.

BTW, my 17 year old daughter does not yet have a drivers licence, and it doesn’t look like she will get one anytime soon. She would rather NOT drive. Considering the actions of other drivers, I tend to agree with her.

You’re not a heartless bitch. You just have common sense. I’m not saying nobody else does, meaning I’m not trying to offend anyone on this board who feels sorry for the boys because I do, I feel sorry that they went toward that road in their life (no pun attended), but you just put emotion aside and look at the accident in a logical POV. So do I. Even when my own family member dies, I think, “Everybody dies eventually.” Taking philosophy helped, I suppose.

Not too long ago, in the city where I live, a guy rammed into a dump truck and died. He was driving a SUV, talking on his cell phone, and he was drunk. That’s a death sentance right there. When I heard it, I had no sorrow at all. A small part of me said, “He deserved it.” I try to tell myself that nobody deserves to die, but sometimes I believe it.

No, I do not think you are heartless; quite the contrary.

Aside from the tragedy of young lives gone wrong and wasted, and the ensuing familial grief, I believe they made poor choices as we all do from time to time, and paid the price.
As for the drug dealing, it is my opinion that drug dealers should be shot on sight; no mercy, no appeal.

Can it be true?? Someone else on the board is from Snellville? I am in shock! Whereabouts do yall live? and who is your daughter?

Thanks everyone for your responses. May I reiterate that I do feel horrible for the families and friends of Ryan and Ben (the boys in the accident). In case anyone was wondering, the two women in the other car are in stable condition and have been sent home. The funeral for Ryan (17) was tonight.

Just A Girl, I didn’t know about Lyllyan but both Mullinator and I live in your lovely city as well. I’ve been here basically my whole life.

All the news reports, both print and TV, have said that these guys were little angels. You’re not trying to tell me the media is fudging, are you? I’d be so disillusioned.

What a remarkable asinine thing to say.

And just why is it that drug dealers should be shot on sight?

You went and got a Darwin symbol and put it on their tombstone.

My guess is you would not say something bad about the boys directly to their parents. So I’ll say you are not heartless and correct.

that made me sad… but give me the same story a year ago and I would have told you it was good riddance.

… as things are now lots of my friends are into drugs and my boyfriend does a bit of dealing now and then. The silly bloke even went to his driving lessons mashed…
sigh… lump in my throat… gotta go


You’re absolutely right. Simple supply and demand tells you it’s the USERS who should be shot.

The dealers will then disappear.



Get used to it because lot of people are uncomfortable speaking ill of the dead. Even if the dead were bad people in life. Remember when Chairman Mao died not so long ago? I heard so many nice things about him on the news that it made me sick.

Reserve your sympathy for those who deserve it. Like their family and loved ones for example.


Heartless bastard here.

They made a choice. There were consequences. Fortunately, they didn’t kill anyone but themselves.

If you meet their relatives, make the appropriate polite noises. Otherwise, life goes on.

Whereabouts? You can just email me if you don’t feel comfortable posting it. I’m a junior at Brookwood…live off of Webb Gin.

And yes…the news reports are misinformed. The boys were drug dealers. Sad, but true. I suppose it was kept quiet since they were only dealing on a teenage level, as opposed to some major drug cartel or something. I think the main reason is to protect the squeaky-clean image of the Brookwood Community. Kinda makes you sick, huh?

Such a sheltered lifestyle we have been given…

I agree with everybody who said that while the victims may not have been worthy of sympathy, their families are. No matter what those dudes did, I’m sure they had people who loved them.

But that doesn’t make you heartless, Just A Girl. You feel the way you do, and that, like any emotion is neither right nor wrong, I think. Actions can be wrong, but feelings can’t, in my opinion.