My sincere thanks go to you for rendering what was presented a heartfelt tribute to two lives that have passed too quickly.
Published 12:38 pm Monday, April 12, 2004
The story covering the deaths of the W.S. Neal seniors was done with decency and taste. When a story such as this is headline news it is, indeed, saddening for the entire community. Sad as it may be, the story must be told for many reasons.
Setting the record straight is one such reason. As humans, we tend to play the old "gossip" game when tragedy strikes our town. However unintentional it may be, stories tend to be stretched, twisted and turned. Having a story in print with official statements from those involved helps to put a stop to any rumors that surround the incident.
Another reason for front-page coverage of tragedies is to teach -- and you have done that well.
The information contained in the story stated that the deceased students were not wearing their seatbelts. Neither was the most critically injured occupant of the second vehicle. You further confirmed that information in your editorial column on page four. You have educated in a most sensitive way surrounding a most sensitive time for this community.
If you, at some point in the future, cover a story that I do not feel quite so emotional about or feel you have taken an unpleasant approach to covering, I will certainly keep the coverage of this story in mind. Your sensitivity to the subject matter and straightforward approach in reporting the facts of the incident are to be commended.
Thank you again for being human and a friend to this community.
Lisa Tindell, Brewton