Samantha, 24, North Olmsted, Ohio, November 11, 2000

by Tricia
(Alabaster, AL, USA)

Samantha was the most famous non-famous person I ever met. She was drop dead gorgeous - at 24, she was my best friend and plutonic soulmate. Devin, 6, and Anthony, 2, were her life. They were my godsons, nephews, my sons' best friends. Samantha and I met through a mutual friend; we were both 5'9", hair to our hips, considered beautiful; 140 lbs, we were perfect matches. We couldn't stand each other at first! Then, we both found out we were pregnant; and both due on October 18, 1997. My son was born 4 weeks early, hers, 2 weeks late. We got together with them and immediately became inseperable. We started every morning on the phone together (you're beautiful, I love you) and ended every night either together or on the phone (you're beautiful, I love you). November 7, 2000, Samantha called me around noon. "I'm broke!" she said. "Take me to lunch, and I'll hook us up this weekend." (Every Thursday and Saturday we went to the bar, never paying a dime, we were bought everything we drank - and we drank a lot!) I didn't do it, and regretted it ever since. Saturday, November 9, 2000, we were supposed to go out together. I had been arguing with my at-the-time boyfriend, and decided not to go. It was my turn to be the designated driver. Sunday morning, around 10 a.m., I received the worst phone call of my life. I later found out that Samantha had gone out after all; went to one bar, drank, left to another, changed her mind mid-ride, turned around and went towards a different bar where her at-the-time boyfriend was waiting. She never made it. Drunk, she didn't make the turn on I-480 west, her car went up a hill, hit a guardrail, flipped, ejected her through the windshield (I later found one of her shoes a ways down, she was ejected so forcefully it took her out of her shoes), she flew about 100 feet and landed, skidding, on her face. She lay in the cold November snow for almost 2 hours, ALIVE, barely, but alive, until an ambulance arrived. She died just a half hour after arriving at the hospital. I'll never get over the guilt - I would've been there, she'd have been alive. If it was her time, maybe God would've taken me too, but maybe not. Maybe she'd still be here. She's gone, her sons are without a mother, her family without her, me with the guilt of her death, her mother with the guilt that she babysat that night for her to drink, all because she drove drunk. PLEASE DON'T DO IT. A life lost, a lifetime of regret and misery and motherlessness for others, all for a few drinks and an "I feel fine". In loving memory of Samantha Marie, 9/26/76-11/11/00

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