When Meagan left home to return to Mesalands Community College for her second year, it was with joy and anticipation for another year of school, rodeo and good times.  Her goals for the year were to finish her Associates Degree in Education and to qualify for the National Intercollegiate Finals Rodeo.  She arrived at school on August 17, 2009 with one week to settle in before classes and rodeo practice would start.

On Friday, August 21, 2009, Meagan and a group of friends decided to drive to Amarillo, TX for a night out.  The group went in two vehicles with Meagan, Angela, Daphne and Amber going in Meagan's 2006 double-cab Dodge Ram 3500.  Because she was tired, Meagan asked Angela to drive and she sat in the front passenger seat.  As they reached the western boundaries of Amarillo, they were hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-40.  Angela and Amber sustained minor injuries. Daphne had life-threatening injuries which required multiple surgeries and months of recovery. Meagan was killed instantly.

Meagan left that night on her final journey, carried on the wings of angels to live out eternity in the presence of her Lord.  Although we all plan to join her there one day, we would rather have her here with us.  We all miss her smile, her laughter and all of the wonderful and exasperating uniqueness that is Meagan.  Each and every day we wonder what she would be doing with her life.

It was the choice of a complete stranger that took her from us.  This was a completely preventable crash that should have never happened.  The choices that each of us make every day affect our families, friends and strangers.  None of us have the right to recklessly risk the lives of others.  No matter what we may tell ourselves or how hard we try to convince others, impaired driving on any level DOES risk lives - including the life of the impaired drivers, their passengers, others on the road, sidewalks, yards and homes that can be in the path of a 4,000 lb weapon.  Impairment starts with the first drink and can also be caused by drugs, fatigue and distractions.  Each of us has the responsibility to hold ourselves and those around us to a higher standard so that the roads can be safer for all those that we care about.