Sitting in a cold Pinellas Park High School’s classroom listening to a young short skinny girl with blonde hair talking about a car crash where two best friends were killed. “Cherish the moments you have because you will never know when it will be your last,” the blonde hair girl said. That sentence made me think back to an event that change mine and my family’s life forever. It made us all cherish every moment we had with one another.
February 25th, 2006 at 3am is the day that changed my cousin’s, Jessica Rasdall, life. Jessica and her best friend Laura Gorman went out to the clubs and never made it back to Laura’s dorm room. They crashed on I-275 hitting a small tree then flipping four times hitting a big tree, killing Laura on impact. Jessica was rushed to BayFront Medical with a massive head injuring after being cut out of her small little crushed up Honda. She there received over 200 stiches to her head and ear.
“I killed her,” said Jessica after finding out that she killed her best friend in a drunk driving accident. A blood test was taken and it showed that Jessica’s blood alcohol level was four times over the legal limit. Jessica was released from the hospital on March 2nd; which was
her 19th birthday and the day of Laura’s funeral. Laura’s parent wouldn’t let their daughter’s best friend since kindergarden attend the funeral because she killed her. Jessica heart was broken.
A month after the crash that changed her life, Jessica was charged with DUI manslaughter. Laura’s parents wanted 15 years for the death of their daughter. Over the two years Jessica was on trial; she spoke at schools, churches, and community groups to talk about her life changing experience. In May 2008, Jessica accepted a plea bargain of four years in prison and two years’ probation.
“I miss Laura so much – I know she paid the ultimate price and I have the rest of my life ahead of me. But I have to wake up every morning without my best friend, and the devastating knowledge that I killed her. That’s my life sentence,” said Jessica at a school filled with juniors and seniors 3 days before their prom. Laura’s parents have yet to speak to Jessica or my family. Jessica had come to the conclusion that she will never be the same again and that we should cherish the times we have with our love ones.
“DING,” goes the school bell end the period. I walk up to the skinny blonde hair girl and said thank you for making me think back to something that changed my life forever. That night I called and talked to Jessica about everything and had a good cry with the most amazing and strong girl I know.