The road to hell

Last October, I wrote about a horrific car accident in Massachusetts that left two teenage sisters dead and their friend severely injured. At the time, I brought it up as a lesson that bad things can happen at any time, at any place, and sometimes fate doesn’t give a crap about anything else — if you’re stupid, you just might get yourself killed.

The girls are long buried, but their storly lives on.

Initial reports on the crash didn’t go too far into causes, but speed and inexperience were mentioned as possible factors. Alcohol didn’t come up.

Until the police started looking into it. Photos of the girls drinking at other parties besides the one they left before the crash surfaced on the internet. Witnesses reported there was drinking going on at that party, and all three girls were playing drinking games before they left.

Things got even more interesting when the police sought the girls’ toxicology test results from their autopsies — and were stymied.

It seems that the state’s Attorney General (and candidate for governor), Tom Reilly, was a friend of the girls’ family. He called the county attorney handling the investigation and urged him not to release the autopsy results, out of respect for the family’s loss. The attorney took that as meaning not to anyone, even the police, and soon investigators cried foul. And when the girls’ parents turned up on a list of Reilly campaign contributors, the charges of coverup and political favoritism started flying. Reilly quickly found himself on the defensive over the matter, explaining that he certainly never intended to hamper a criminal investigation into who may have provided the vodka to the underage girls.

I have absolutely no use for Reilly whatsoever. He is one of the leading proponents of the push to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens, and I can’t think of a single policy or stance of his that I think is anything short of seriously head-up-the-ass stupid. But I’m not going to denounce him for this one.

I think he did what he did out of compassion, not venality. The parents have had to bury their children, and that is a truly awful thing. He might even have not intended to include the police in his advice to “not release the autopsy results,” but was misunderstood.

I think he was wrong to do so. I think that letting the facts all come out might help other parents save their children. I think that whoever did provide the Murphy girls and Melissa Smith with booze ought to do a nice, long stretch in jail. And I think that a Reilly governorship would be an utter disaster for the state and the region.

But I can’t use this incident to finish off his political career. It was a wrong decision, but done for decent reasons. And an abject lesson in how compassion is not the best motivation for making decisions.

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