Stop signs serve a really important purpose: they warn drivers they’re approaching danger. But what happens if a stop sign isn’t where it’s supposed to be? What happens if there’s no warning?
Sadly, our entire nation learned that grim lesson back in 1996.
On February 7, 1996, three teenagers from the Tampa Bay area jumped into a white Camaro and headed home after a night of bowling. Kevin Farr, Brian Hernandez, and Randall White were making their way down East Keysville Road when they came to the intersection at Lithia Pinecrest Road. Unfortunately for them, three older kids had been to that intersection ahead of them. Thomas Miller (20), Nissa Baillie (21), and her boyfriend, Christopher Cole (20) had removed the stop sign guarding the intersection in front of Tim’s Café located on the corner of the two highways.
Just before midnight, the Camaro reached the intersection, but without the stop sign there to warn him, Kevin Farr drove into the interchange at the exact same moment a Mack truck loaded down with 8 tons of phosphate roared through. All three of the 18-years-old boys lost their lives that chilly Wednesday evening in a horrific crash that gripped the attention of a nation.
In what would become known throughout America as “the stop sign case,” the three twentysomethings admitted to vandalizing and/or stealing 19 other road signs in the area jeopardizing the lives of thousands of motorists who lived nearby. During the trial, some argued that leniency should be granted because the kids never meant for anyone to die in their prank. Others argued that Judge Mitcham should deliver the most severe punishment allowed by the law because of the senseless loss of life they caused.
But here’s one thing no one can argue: if the stop sign had been at the intersection, those three boys would not have died that night.
Every time warnings are removed, crashes happen.
Sadly, we’re the ones who usually pull the “stops signs” and warnings from our lives. We then cross into a deadly intersection and things end in a crash. Want proof? Just look at some of the most well-known people in the Bible:
Eve blew through a stop sign when she ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
The ancient Israelites screamed past a huge stop sign when they built an idol at the base of Mt. Sinai.
King David ripped out at least four stop signs when he had an affair with a woman who was married to his best friend.
Which stop signs are missing from your life?
What warnings are you pulling out of the ground?
What sort of devastation is it leading to?
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)