'You're Not Invincible': Police Officer's Heartfelt Plea To Speeding Teen
A police officer has penned a heartfelt note to a young driver who was caught speeding, pleading with him and others to slow down on the roads.
The letter, from an anonymous officer in Ohio, is addressed to an 18-year-old who was stopped doing 160 km/h in an 100 km/h zone.
"You're welcome. I'd like to believe that you were minutes away from creating an unspeakable Christmas tragedy when I stopped you," the letter, posted on the North Ridgeville Police Department Facebook page on Monday, begins.
The officer wrote the teen was "visibly shaking and breathing hard" and didn't realise how fast he was driving.
"Unfortunately you were scared one minute too late and for the wrong reason," they wrote.
"I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18-year-old bodies that I've pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I've found in front yards and after crashes. Unrecognisable bodies. They thought there were invincible too. There weren't."
The officer pleaded with the 18-year-old to consider his parents, and the soul-destroying knock on the door in the event their child has been killed.
"I don't KNOW your parents, but I know them. I know that when you leave every day, they say 'be careful, drive safe'," they wrote.
"I know that when you leave every day they say “Be careful. Drive safe.” Those aren’t just words. That is the very last act of them pleading with you to come home safe.
"When they get a knock on the door, it’s not “Good afternoon ma’am. Your 18 year old son just had a massive heart attack. It’s “Can we sit down? Your son has been involved in a very serious crash. I’m so sorry. He’s died.”
The letter ended with a simple plea:
"Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise."
"I hope that when your mum tells you to "drive safe" you make a promise to her, and yourself, that you will."
The letter has clocked up over 134,000 shares since it was shared on Monday, with many thanking the officer for his message and service.
"No officer in the world could have said that better," said one man on Facebook.
"Thank you to this officer. I was this kid 10 years ago. It was my first and only ticket," said another.
"It was the best thing that anyone could have done for me. That officer saved my life."
Another mother shared her own heartbreak after losing her son in a car crash.
"I truly wish that someone had stopped my son and talked to him ... then maybe he would have lived to see his 18th birthday," she wrote.
"Thank you for stopping this teenager and every other teenager that you see. Please do all that you can to keep the mum's hearts whole."
Contact the author email@example.com