Story of the Week 12/9


Ryan Ramirez via

There have been a few stories in the last 11 months that have really gotten under my skin. One of them I wrote this week and was our centerpiece for Friday’s paper. It wasn’t more than 25″ and it didn’t need to be. It’s Ryan Ramirez’s story, as told by his mother, Sherry Chapman.

!MPACT, Mourning Parents ACT, Inc., looks to keep teens aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Formed in 2002, the group had it’s 10-year anniversary this month.

Friday was also the 10-year anniversary of Ramirez’s death. The story I wrote for Friday took a lot of phone calls and a lot of soul searching. Many of us, myself included, take driving for granted. It’s something we have to do and we do it. I understand the risks, but do I really think about it? No.

Here’s the story.

Mourning with a message 10 years after son’s death, mother continues to stress safe teen driving

It’s one of the best I’ve written. It may not be perfect, but it’s one that I will never forget. There are a lot of stories that I wish I could have back, but this one I am really proud of and thankful that each source took the time to talk to me. It took a lot of effort, but it came out really well.

I wanted to include a few facts I found from the CDC, while working on the story.

-Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

-In 2010, seven teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries.

-Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

-In 2010, about 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16–19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated and released from emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes.

Ramirez would have been 29 this year.


One Response to Story of the Week 12/9

  1. Pingback: Some Stories Really Hit Home « Just Starting Out

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