Matthew Haley, St.Stephen N.B., June 12, 2010
(St. Stephen, NB)
It was one week away from graduation, and everyone had been working so hard that when it came time for grad parties, people let loose. We live in a small town where you know everyone and something horrible and tragic like losing a young person in a drinking and driving accident is unimaginable. Matt was the happy kid. He loved life, and he certainly made quite the party out of it. He could always cheer you up on the worst of your days and he truly was a kind person. I will never forget the first day I met him. I loved him from the moment I laid eyes on him. Although our relationship was rocky at times, he was always one of my best friends. I was going through a rough time and thought it would be best if we took a break from our relationship for a while. He was very upset and after a few days I approached him at school to try and talk. It was Friday and everyone was excited for the Relay for Life and a grad party that was taking place at the lake, just down the road from the high school. When I tried to talk to Matt he seemed very hurt, and I knew he just needed time. But that was one thing we didn't have. Later that night, Matt got on the back of an ATV after the party. One of his best friends was driving and they were both quite intoxicated. As they traveled on a
path alongside the highway, they came up to a cliff. The guardrail had a path going alongside it and in their drunken state, they didn't realize that beside the guardrail was actually a drop off, down approximately 30 feet. They drove the ATV off the cliff. Only one of them was wearing a helmet. They believe that Matt died instantly, or soon after, sometime between the night and early morning hours. His best friend managed to survive with minor injuries. He climbed up the side of the embankment, coming to the highway where he flagged over a car. At 10:40 on June 13, 2010, Matthew Haley was pronounced dead. I will never forgot how only a short few hours later, word began to spread. I received a phone call from a friend and I remember falling to the floor and crying. I couldn't think straight, I just could not understand. I was very numb to the situation over the summer. I used to think that I would see Matt all the time. He would walk by, or be standing in a crowd. He left behind a devastate mother, a broken younger brother and so many others who were distraught with the pain of the accident. One boy will have to live with this for the rest of his life, and one had his life cut too short. Please, i'm begging you, STOP AND THINK. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. I thought it would never happen to me or someone I love. I now realize, we are not invincible.