This past Friday in Atlanta, Georgia a lovesick 16-year old teenage girl intentionally drove her car at a high-rate of speed into another car in an attempt to commit suicide. The girl survived the accident with only an ankle injury. Tragically, 30-year old mother of three, Nancy Salado-Mayo, whom 16-year old Louise Egan Brunstad plowed her car into, was killed. Salado-Mayo’s 6-year old daughter suffered from fractured ribs and other minor injuries (http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/10/20/text.suicide.ap/index.html).

Brunstad, who attends Holy Innocents Episcopal School, told friends that she planned to kill herself because another female student refused to have sex with her. As she drove towards the other car, she sent counted down via text message to the girl who spurned her.

Miss Brunstad is facing felony murder and aggravated assault charges. The young lady’s attorney, Drew Findling, had this to say: “This young lady and her parents are devastated by this horrible accident and by the death of Mrs. Salado-Mayo and the injuries of her daughter,” Findling said. “They are praying for the quick and healthy recovery of her daughter and for the well-being of her husband and other children.”

Suffice to say that Mr. Findling is not living in reality. This was no accident. It was a premeditated selfish act. No amount of public relations spin can change the facts in this case.

This bizarre, yet sad story leaves me with so many questions (none of which absolve this girl from responsibility for her actions)and very few answers. What life events precipitate such drastic, irrational behavior by this teenage girl? What kind of relationship does she have with her parents, particularly her parents (the lesbian love affair points to some obvious disfunction)? What does she believe about God and his desire to care for her in ways this classmate never could (her enrollment at an Episcopal school indicates some kind of religious background/knowledge)? How long did her friends know that she planned to attempt suicide and did they tell anyone? How can Mr. Findling sleep at night, attempting to call murder an accident?

Just another example of life in a world where men and women live without the fear and reality of consequences for one’s actions, where people live without any regard for the well-being of others, where people live only for themselves, leading to the destruction of self, those who love them, and the stealing of innocence,and sometimes life, from random by-standers. Another reason to despise the consequences of sin on God’s image-bearers and the countless ways that people seek satisfaction, joy and contentment by perverting God’s gifts rather than turning to the Giver of life’s gifts.

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