Submitted for Blake Strebel (July 3, 1989-April 22, 2009) by his parents – Tim and Susan Strebel
I know you have heard it said, “wrong place, wrong time.” We were good, fun-loving young men. As roommates and coworkers we did all kinds of things together. We had the same interests and goals – church missions, education, marriage, families, and careers.
On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Derek Jasper and I went to work, watched and participated in a lacrosse practice and game for which I was a coach, played pickup basketball with friends, and were on our way home by 10:00 p.m. We were in the right place at the right time doing the right things. The two young men who took our lives were the ones in the wrong.
“For every act there is a consequence. When I choose the act, I choose the consequence.” They chose to be intoxicated, to run from the police, to run stop signs, and to run a red light at close to 80 miles per hour. They also chose the consequences of their actions – hospitalization and some jail time (and possibly prison). For us, we lost our lives. We lost all those dreams. Their choices also affected our families, our friends, the Weber High lacrosse team, families, and the lacrosse community. None of them will ever be the same.
Our son Blake dreamed of becoming a U.S. Marshal. While in high school, he took concurrent enrollment classes from Salt Lake Community College and criminal justice classes through the Jordan District Technology program. He entered Weber State University two semesters short of his Associate’s Degree. With another year of schooling, he would have his Bachelor’s. The sting of his death will never leave us. Blake is gone. Gone for his friends is the quiet, gentle listener; for his lacrosse boys, a trusted coach; for his cousins, the caring humorist and texting talk; for his grandparents, the kisses and expressions of love; for his young widowed aunt, the weekly companionship and help; for his niece, special dates; for his nephews, the rough and tumble play; for his brother-in-law, a basketball partner; for his brothers, their best friend; for his sister, her confidant; and for his parents, the one who kept them young, whose hugs were tight, whose questions were deep, whose compassion seemed endless, and whose service was genuine.
Cars are a means of transportation to work, school, fun outings, and vacations. They give us pleasure and opportunities. Used irresponsibly, a car is a ton-and-a-half of destructive force. Blake’s car was demolished. The normal width of a car is close to 60 inches. Blake’s car, after a t-bone impact from the other car and subsequent impact with a light pole, was reduced to a width of less than 24 inches where the driver and passenger sit. We trust other drivers to be responsible, to obey laws, and to watch out for the safety of others. Blake and his friend were not in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two boys who hit them made wrong choices that forever changed our lives and the lives of their own families.