“As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
“In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, or the costs incurred by the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
“Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
“Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of love. And lots of shipwrecks.”
Driver was doing between 166km/h and 195km/h before fatal crash
Aug 4, 2023
Guilty plea: The driver of a car involved in a fatal crash at Arcadia has faced the County Court.
A driver who had a high level of drugs in his system could have been travelling as fast as 195km/h when he crashed his car, killing his friend, a court has heard.
Tyson Gavin Forrester, 26, from Shepparton, pleaded guilty in the Koori Court division of the Shepparton County Court to culpable driving, causing death.
He also pleaded guilty to the summary charges of being a learner driver who drove without an appropriate supervising driver, driving an unregistered vehicle, and using a vehicle without number plates.
Prosecutor Andrew Moore told the court Forrester was driving at a high speed when he lost control of his Ford Falcon BF sedan, crossed the opposite side of the road and collided with trees on Central Kialla Rd at Arcadia on April 3 last year.
The impact caused the car to split in two, and the passenger, a 19-year-old Shepparton woman, was killed.
Forrester walked away from the crash and was found by a taxi driver further down the road, telling her “I’ve got to get the girl out” when they drove past the wreckage, Mr Moore said.
The accused was later flown to the hospital in Melbourne for treatment to his injuries.
Mr Moore said the car hit a depression in the road, causing the under-carriage of the vehicle to hit the road surface about 26m from the depression.
He told the court collision reconstruction expert Detective Sergeant Rob Hay said based on the calculations, the vehicle was travelling at “a minimum of 166km/h to 195km/h” at the start of the yaw across the road.
The court was told Det Sgt Hay said the most likely cause of the crash was a “bump steer” where the car was unbalanced after the undercarriage hit the road surface before leaving the road.
“Had the Ford been travelling at the speed limit, the bump steer or steering input would not have occurred,” Det Sgt Hay’s report said.
Mr Moore told the court a blood sample taken in the hour after the crash showed that Forrester had a “very high” level of methamphetamines in his system.
In a report, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine doctor Jason Schreiber said Forrester’s driving skills “would have been adversely affected by the effects of methamphetamine at this level” and that he “would have been incapable of having proper control of the vehicle”.
The court heard Forrester was also a learner driver at the time and did not have a supervising driver with him, and the vehicle’s registration had expired in January 2019.
Victim impact statements were read to the court from the parents, siblings, and aunt of the woman who died.
Her mother described her daughter as “an inspirational and passionate daughter who was taken because of selfish actions (of Forrester)”.
“I shouldn’t be missing our girl, every day, every minute, every second,” she said.
“My heart, my mind, my whole life, everything I do, is pained.”
The mother spoke of how she still cried daily and that “no punishment will be enough”.
The woman’s father spoke about how his life changed forever ever the day of the crash.
“Telling her mother and siblings was the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” he said.
“One person’s poor judgment ended my little girl’s life.”
Forrester was admonished by Elders sitting as part of the Koori Court, as well as other justice workers who took part in the sentencing conversation in court.
Forrester’s defence counsel Jonathan Barreiro conceded his client “was culpable in a very serious way”.
However, he told the court his client had started using drugs because of a “really difficult upbringing”.
He also said instability in his life and homelessness at the time “led to him making decisions he might not have made”.
Forrester will be sentenced in the coming days.
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Suffering is not enjoyable. When we wander from the path of righteousness by choosing sin, it ends with suffering and our feet become paralyzed. God uses the hardships we create to discipline and redirect our focus. We praise God for creating a straight path to keep our focus clearer and our feet less likely to stumble.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We cannot appreciate the magnitude of God’s gift of eternal life until we first understand that the wages of sin is death. Wages are what we “earned, ” what we “deserve. ” “Death” is not only physical death here but spiritual and eternal death. Our sin was an offence to the infinitely holy God and thus justly deserved eternal punishment. But God’s grace, greater than all our sins, brings us eternal life instead. ⚜️🙏⚜️