NORWICH – The Chenango County District Attorney's Office visited Norwich High School driver's education students on Tuesday to discuss the importance of good decision making, while highlighting the consequences of bad decisions coupled with operating a motor vehicle.
Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride, along with Chenango County Traffic Diversion Program Coordinator Gard Turner, addressed driver's education students in their fourth week of instruction about the dangers of drinking and driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and texting and driving.
McBride told students, "We're going to make sure that you come out of this room making better decisions, because that's why bad things happen; not because anybody – especially in the DWI world – is intrinsically evil. It's because they make bad decisions."
McBride briefed the students on two fatal drunk driving cases that have stuck with him over the years: when a drunk driver killed former Norwich students Rachel Nargiso, Emily Collins, and Katie Almeter in Hamilton, and when a drunk driver killed Guilford student Ashley Crisell in Bainbridge.
Discussing the death of Nargiso, Collins, and Almeter, McBride said, "Those three girls were going to rule the world––those three girls were killed. The driver's best friend was killed. And you know what happened to [the driver], in addition to suffering for killing all those people? He went to state prison for three years. Before that he was a college student going to Colgate University. Just like you, he's got the world on his fingertips, and he blew it because he made the bad decision to drive and he killed those kids."
McBride told students drinking has its own problems without coupling it with operating a motor vehicle. In discussing the death of Crisell, McBride said the people involved in the crash were partying in the woods when they decided the least intoxicated person among them was safe to drive. In addition to being intoxicated, the driver only had a learner's permit.
"He wasn't the best one to drive, no one should have driven," said McBride. "There were body parts all over Route 206 and that happened, ladies and gentlemen, because that kid made the wrong decision."