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Driving tragedy on Long Island

Monday, October 08, 2012
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

It's the biggest fear of parents with a teenage driver in the house. Driving. There's nothing like experience behind the wheel. Nothing. NOTHING.

And those early years of driving, when kids have little experience, are the most worrisome.

There's a reason why younger drivers are most costly to insure. Those insurance companies understand the statistics about teenage drivers.

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I'm thinking about all that today, because of the horrendous and deadly accident we're covering tonight on Long Island. Five kids in a car, all of them teenagers running off the road of the Southern State Parkway at about 4 this morning, and plowing into the woods and into some trees.

Only one has survived, the driver, a kid with a learner's permit, a kid who should have been behind the wheel not without an adult, not with all those other kids.

Our Matt Kozar is on the story for us at 11 the story of the driver, the victims, and the families that are now sorrowful beyond imagination.

And under the heading of WTF (What The Football)? why would fans cheer when THEIR quarterback went down with a head injury, perhaps a concussion. Can you imagine? Says much about the "fans" who did that. And it matters not a twit that the team has won but one game so far this season. Chief's offensive lineman Eric Winston was critical of the boo-birds. And he was so thoughtful about what this all means. Our sister enterprise, ESPN.Com wrote it up:

"It's 100 percent sickening. I've never, ever and I've been in some rough times on some rough teams -- I've never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than at that moment right there. I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn't done anything to you people.

"Hey, if he's not the best quarterback, he's not the best quarterback, and that's OK, but he's a person," Winston continued, the big offensive lineman's voice slowly rising. "And he got knocked out in a game and we've got 70,000 people cheering that he got knocked out."

"We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Coliseum. This is a game," said Winston, who spoke to Cassel briefly in the locker room after the game. "This is a game that's going to cost us a lot down the road. That's OK. We picked it. We deserve it. I don't want your pity. But we've got a lot of problems as a society if people think that's OK." Well said.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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