BOSTON (CBS) – Unless you have a heart of stone, you’ve got to feel for the family and friends of Thomas O’Day of East Bridgewater, the highway worker struck and killed by an apparent drunk driver early Tuesday morning on Interstate 93.

Another worker was lucky to escape with minor injuries.

Thomas O'Day. (Facebook photo)

Thomas O’Day. (Facebook photo)

As with all cases like this, the collateral damage extends far beyond the victim’s family. I had to turn away from the TV Tuesday when the mother of the alleged perp spoke briefly to reporters outside his arraignment, describing her son and family as “devastated.”

The busiest time of year for drunken driving crimes is the holiday season in December, but early summer is right up there. The weather is fine, people are in a party mood, and the next thing you know, the horrendous risk is taken.

All too often, the result is irreversible.

We lost nearly 1,400 people to drunken driving in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2012. More than two-percent of adults here admit to driving after drinking too much, well above the national average.

And even though the media dutifully chronicles the awful toll, we keep right on doing it.

What will it take to end the carnage?

For awhile, watching my sons’ generation insist on having a designated driver, I thought generational change might take care of it. But the alleged killer of Tom O’Day, James Scoville, is 31.

James Scoville in court, June 28. (WBZ-TV)

James Scoville in court, June 28. (WBZ-TV)

And binge drinking on college campuses is epidemic, the drunk drivers of the future in the making.

Maybe all we can do is beg.

This has the makings of a beautiful summer.

Please use your good judgement and decency to make sure you don’t contribute to making it the summer from hell.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Jon Keller


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