Perhaps it is because we have children who are teenagers, but the news Monday morning of the death of a 16-year-old girl on the Merrimack River in a jet-ski accident in which alcohol allegedly was involved hit us particularly hard.
According to news reports, the 32-year-old man who has been charged with drunken boating allegedly was under the influence of alcohol when his jet ski ran up from behind on top of another jet ski on which the girl was sitting as a passenger.
The accident occurred well after nightfall, but the girl’s body was not recovered until Monday morning — one cannot imagine a worst-case scenario for any parent.
And it was all so senseless. Let’s face it — who in their right mind is jet-skiing after dark? But of course, somebody who is under the influence of alcohol is not in their right mind — and we would like to know whether the person who was operating the jet ski with the girl on it may have been under the influence as well.
As we have said here many times, and no doubt will say again many times, alcohol still ranks as the number one most-abused substance in our society. The opioid crisis certainly is terrible, but alcohol reigns supreme for the carnage it wreaks on our society and the tens of thousands of innocent victims it claims every year.
Alcohol abuse is our true national epidemic — and we hope that those who are drinkers (but who are sober while reading this editorial) will learn from this tragedy and the tens of thousands of others that occur across America every year.