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Letter: Important story about underage drinking

On April 3, 1996, my 17-year-old daughter, Brooke Blanchard, a junior at Hopkinton High School, was killed in a car crash (a preventable crash, not an accident) as a passenger in a car driven by a 16-year-old who had been drinking.

After reading the March 26 letters to the editor by Emma Hamilton and Michael Proulx criticizing the Monitor’s publishing of “MV students arrested at dance” (front page, March 23), I have to respond.

I commend the Monitor for its willingness to publish stories about these events. I wish there were more articles about underage drinking and its effect on society and the mortality of young adults and teenagers, especially regarding drunk driving. I also praise the work of the Concord Police and the officer at Merrimack Valley High School that night. His intervention could have prevented a much more serious outcome that night.

To Mr. Proulx, you don’t consider it newsworthy that these teenagers were drinking some alcohol on a Saturday night. Brooke’s death made the front page for weeks. Does a child have to die to be considered newsworthy?

To Ms. Hamilton, Brooke’s “one mistake” was getting into a vehicle knowing that the driver had been drinking instead of taking the keys, since Brooke had not been drinking.

Instead of being critical, how about thanking the Monitor, its journalists and the Concord police for being concerned about the lives of our young people, and Principal Mike Jette, whose policies may have prevented a terrible tragedy.

STEVE BLANCHARD

Concord

I totally agree, the awareness needs to get out there so no one else has to die and have to endure the loss of a love one. I grew up in Hopkinton and went to Hopkinton High School. I was a couple grades behind Brooke. I still remember being at school when we were told of the accident and Brooke not surviving. It was completely heart breaking. Our town had just loss Stacy and Chris in two separate accidents in short time and now Brooke. The town of Hopkinton is a close knit community, so we all mourned loosing Brooke. She was young, smart, funny, and a great athlete. She always had a smile on her face and would say hello to you.

I totally agree. The Monitor got this one right and did a nice job as did the police.

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