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See what the crash looks like and keep it from happening

The July 4th holiday looms. It’s on a Thursday this year, one week from today, meaning a whole lot of folks will embark on a four-day weekend after work next Wednesday.

That’s great. This is Independence Day, after all, so celebration of the greatest democracy the world has ever known is warranted.

But when the celebration leads, somewhat naturally, into a high intake of adult beverages, followed by a drive in the car parked at the sight of the celebration, bad things inevitably happen.

At that point, Lycoming County Coroner Charles Kiessling correctly points out “they are driving thousands of pounds of metal down the highway that will kill someone.”

The likelihood someone will be killed is exponentially increased when drinking precedes the driving.

To dramatize visually what the result can be — and often is — Michael Diehl of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 3 office, recently told the area DUI Advisory Council of a special plan.

He plans to put crashed vehicles with informational banners in areas of high traffic or where crashes typically take place. Some possible locations include Route 220 in the Linden area, a chronic scene of tragic accidents.

Billboards have traditionally been the sobering reminder to not drive drunk, but we love the idea of showing drivers what a crash — possibly with them inside the car — looks like when drinking and driving are mixed.

Celebrate our nation’s independence. And it is worth a party. But if it involves drinking, do it at home or at the neighbors within walking distance of home. Or, if you are going somewhere, pick a designated driver and pay for his or her gas and food.

You can celebrate. Just don’t mix the celebratory beverage with driving.

Independence means nothing if you or some innocent soul you crash into are not around on July 5.

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