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McKewon's bail set by judge at $250,000

Original post made on Nov 10, 2007

It was a scene riddled with emotion this morning as the arraignment for Katie McKewon was held.
Friends and family members of Laurel Williams, who was killed in a car accident Oct. 20, came to the hearing wearing white T-shirts with a picture of Williams wearing a green dress, blowing a kiss to the camera.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 9, 2007, 5:27 PM

Comments (65)

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Posted by chris
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:59 am

Prayer to all, Katie, Laurel, Laurel's mom, bless your heart, and everyone....I urge teens and ANYONE who drinks and drives to go to the Grimrealities website on Myspace. It is real, it is very difficult to watch, and absolutely sobering....It just may save a life....No one wins here, punishment is already happened in the hearts of all involved...Chris


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Posted by unknown
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Nov 10, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Chris what is the exact link for grimrealities?
Please advise.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 11, 2007 at 12:19 am

Go to myspace or Google grimrealities.com and you will see option 2 click on that and it takes you right to the websight. These are real and they are graphic videos. Just to be prepared. My friend is a teacher in Stockton and played these videos for her class and she will do so 4 times a year, on her own time, whether the school system likes it or not.


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Posted by unknown
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Nov 11, 2007 at 9:18 am

Chris,

Thank you for the info.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton parent
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:00 pm

"We're hopeful that another tragedy doesn't happen through the court system and we're hopeful that (McKewon) can get on with her life and focus on the issues that she has."


THE ONLY TRAGEDY ELLIOT WOULD BE FOR THE DRUNK WITH 'ISSUES' TO BE RELEASED BACK IN TO PUBLIC SO WE ALL HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING AT THE RECEIVING END.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by wondering
a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:28 pm

To Pleasanton Parent - Do you have any idea how many "drunks with issues" we have in this town....I invite any one to come to the Tri Valley Fellowship of A.A off Old Santa Rita Road, all kinds of "us" in recovery....We are not just old men in long coats anymore....the number of young people is amazing....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Amber
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:44 pm

I agree. There are many "drunks with issues" in any town, any city, and any country. Just pinpointing one person isn't going to do any good. We should always be worried about the receiving end until the whole world wakes up as a whole to any problem (i.e., drunk driving). People don't wake up until their bubble is popped and something beyond the imaginable happens, and those circles of people are all hit. But will this unfortunate, heart breaking, situation help in the future? Has it ever? No, because we are in grieving all over again.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cali
a resident of Avila
on Nov 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Thank goodness there are those willing to work on themselves before they create their own tragedy- thank you for posting the meeting information.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Melissa
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Will Laurel's blood alcohol content be made public? She could just as easily been the driver in this situation. God rest her soul.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Are you kidding?
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:07 pm

"Will Laurel's blood alcohol content be made public? She could just as easily been the driver in this situationShe could just as easily been the driver in this situation"

*she wasn't*


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Knowname
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 4:44 pm

She's lucky her judge is Walker not Hyde!!!!


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Posted by Samuel
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 12, 2007 at 8:54 pm

What is the relevance of Laurel Williams' blood alcohol level? She "could have been the driver" but she wasn't. Katie McKewon was the driver. The responsibility for any accident involving a vehicle falls on the driver of the vehicle--the person handling the steering wheel and gas and brake pedals, NOT the passenger.

That's why it's not illegal to be a drunken passenger, but it is illegal to be a drunken driver. The worst a drunken passenger can do is throw up on the seats. A drunken driver can--and in this case, did--cause death and injury.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by marie
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Samuel You must not remember the accident that killed Joel Davis. The drunk passenger grabbed the steering wheel. This sent the car into an oak tree killing the passenger behind the driver.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Annonymous
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:13 pm

Thank God she has Walker, he WILL make sure Katie gets the time she deserves.....He stated in court that the mother should have intervened much sooner since Katie had a prior of assaulting an officer and being drunk under age...It did not help that the people she lived with allowed her and contributed to her drinking as well. That was not the kind of intervention that Katie needed. (portion of comment removed by PW staff)


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Posted by unknown
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:32 pm

RE:
That's why it's not illegal to be a drunken passenger, but it is illegal to be a drunken driver. The worst a drunken passenger can do is throw up on the seats. A drunken driver can--and in this case, did--cause death and injury.

It is not illegal to be a drunken passenger, but it is STUPID to be a drunken passenger in a vehicle with a drunk driver.


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Posted by Samuel
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 12, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Laurel may or may not have been drunk. The point is, she was not in control of the car at any time, and there is no suggestion that she contributed in any way to Katie losing control of her vehicle. This is very much unlike the case in which Joel Davis died, in which a passenger contributed to the accident by grabbing the steering wheel.

I can't believe people are saying that Laurel's decision to get into a car with Katie as the driver somehow mitigates Katie's responsibility for the accident. I know there are some people who don't want to see Katie do any jail time at all, and those people are quite clearly twisting logic and facts into pretzels to manufacture that outcome.

Thankfully, it's not up to anybody except a judge and a jury now. I shake my head in sorrow at how quickly some people in the Pleasanton community are scrambling over themselves to deny the reality of what's happened here and to make it all just go away.

As I said: This has happened before and it will happen again. The attitudes evinced by a good number of people posting on this message board, if representative of community sentiment, proves that.

Denial isn't just a river in Egypt.


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Posted by Steve White
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:19 am

Well, here's another person saying that getting in the car with a drunk person mitigates the crime against the dead girl, not against society or the other driver.

The driver of a vehicle is always responsible, and of course you are going to prosecute this person, even if there was no one else hurt, because she is a menace if all alleged is true.

But when people decide to do risky things, like get in the car with a drunk, they are irresponsible to themselves.




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Posted by no name mom
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:02 am

To the Friend who wrote this in the initial forum page.

to forgiveness heals...
(portion removed by PW staff) GIVE ME A BREAK. IF THAT WAS YOUR CHILD KILLED YOU WOULDNT FEEL THIS WAY ESPECIALLY ONLY A FEW WEEKS AFTER THE ACCIDENT.

How rude are you.? What do your children learn from you? What if the driver was your daughter, then would you have been this judgemental? Stop screaming and take a cold shower.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:07 am

It is best not to respond to posts like that. It was written by someone intentionally trying to incite emotions.


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Posted by Deanna
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2007 at 11:22 am

To the Editor of Pleasanton Weekly:

While these blogs can be cathartic for some, it is used by others to be destructive and hateful. Some of these responses are filled with so much pain and anger that I have to wonder what purpose it serves to allow comments as such on your website.

For those of us who have tried to offer hope for those in pain, it is nonetheless obvious there are those who resent niceties and gestures of sympathy, empathy and inspiration.

There was an article written a few years back that circled the nation about what forgiveness is in essence. The author, whom I do not recall the name, talks of forgiveness being for the forgiver where the ultimate recipient is yourself. This writer hit the nail on the head in regards to this misunderstood ideal of forgiveness. Can you please print this article with the hope that it reaches many people beyond the circle engulfed in this one tragedy?

Regardless, I do hope to see this evolve from hostility and anger to peace and compassion with some of your readers. Best Wishes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ashley
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Deanna,

You yourself will never fully understand where this anger is coming from, because, and correct me if I am wrong, you were not related or direclty connected with Laurel.

Many of the individuals that have came on this forum, where somehow connected to her. I myself consider her family, details do not need to be shared as to how, but she is my cousin.

It is a shame the certain choices were mad by her and Katie, and that is why we are all so upset.

Yes, the majority of the comments are filled with angry, suffering, pain, and many more emotions that you could not even imagine.

This is not the first or last time a teenager has been killed in a drunk driving accident caused by a friend. It happens ever year. I can think of two in the last 5.

To all that read these comments, take them as they are, opinions. Please just remember that both families are suffering an unexplainable amount of pain. Give them so space for now. Time will heal Katie and her family, but for ours, it will take constant support.

As this trial goes on, it will be the hardest thing that Laurel's mom will have to go through, because she will finally hear the truth.

Please everyone, remember Laurel was an amazing, wonderful women, Katie was as well, she just needed help.

I pray for her and her family.

Rest in Peace Laurel. We love and miss you so much.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kevin from San Jose
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:00 pm

I didnt know Laurel and for all who are passing judgment here remember an innocent life was lost. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Laurel. Let this tragic event and moreso her short life be a reminder to all the importance of being responsible so that this will not happen again.


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Posted by kathy
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:30 pm

Ashley, Thank you for being considerate of everyone involved. We all know that Laurel's family are going through such a hard time. They have lost their precious daughter.

But, at the same time the guilt and sorrow that Katie's family is going through with all the fingers being pointed at them, is not easy either.

May god give plenty of patience to both families and everyone involved.

May our children learn from this tragedy to know that when parents ask too many questions is for their own good.

May parents be strong enough to realize 19 is still a child (to that parent) and to keep an eye on their children, not to leave them alone and stand the hatred the teenagers may show towards them due to their tough love. But, in the long run, those teenagers will be parents too and realize that their parents always wanted the best for them.

I have an elementary child, but I am learning so much from this forum. I hope that all us younger parents learn from other's experiences to avoid future mistakes by us and our children.

My heart goes to both family and to the elderly who is dealing with her injuries.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Deanna
a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Ashley,

Thank you for your response. I am so very sorry for your loss. Also, accept my condolences extended to your entire family.

Please know that my above note is not directed towards yourself at all. Actually, if you read the blocked page you will find my note addressed to Youngman and Samuel who used the blog to attack others for their opinions. It's very saddening to see Laurel's passing come to something like that.

As for me not understanding. I don't know you and, likewise, you do not know me. I do not need to be related to Laurel to understand the pain and suffering involved with a such an untimely and senseless loss. I lost a friend in high school from a drunk driver. She was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown through the windshield onto the highway. I have also lost one cousin to an auto accident where the driver was another cousin to us both. One more cousin was lost in a hit and run while he rode his bike. Another cousin lost his life to his own drunkeness on a motor cycle. And, finally, my sister in law lost her brother to a drunk driver as well. Sometimes lightening strikes a family more than once.

I do understand exactly what you and your family faces at this time. I understand the want to blame, to hurt, to accuse and to take matters into your own hands. I also understand what rage stews as seen with Youngman towards others can cause. It's destructive not only to himself, but to anyone he touches around him. This is truly sad.

As for the article I've referred to, it is what helped my family put some of the tragedy into perspective. Forgiveness is not for Katie. It's for one to cope with the loss in such a way that replaces the need to strike back at her. Anger and fury will only bring the person down who carries it around and passes it along to those around him or her. It's simply toxic. As the author put it, to forgive does not require telling the offender that he/she is forgiven and it does not mean to "forgive and forget". It means that you can release yourself from the anger and resentment by letting it go and, in this case, allowing the retribution to lay in the court's hands. This releases one from carrying the burden of the anger so that one can focus on the tremendous struggle in coping with the loss.

On the flip side, with the situation where my cousin who was the driver in the accident and our other cousin died, can you imagine this kind of anger and fury within the same extended family rather than between two different families? It's very ugly and survival really hinges on people holding their tongues at times and learning diplomacy and tact--even during times of serious distress.

So, Ashley, I indeed do understand your anger and I understand the grieving process. I hope you understand that this was not intended for someone like yourself who is not behaving as some have on these pages. I am sorry if you took anything I've said personally towards yourself. If you do know Youngman--reach out to him. He's very angry at the world right now and he's not going to feel better by attacking other people who mean him no harm.

I wish you and your family all the best and, again, I am very sorry for the loss you have suffered.

Regards,
Deanna


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 13, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Deanna and shelly,

Do you think young man had a relation (relative or friend) of Laurel?
Or was he just touched by this acciedent?

He seemed to feel have very personal emotions about the situation. But, did not state anywhere as to how well he knew Laurel. He started out by being a resident of livermore and then a highschool here.]

Shelly,
Deanna is right if you know him, please help him with his anger and your controled temper and attitude. Anger can blind people and may cause him to possibly make a wrong decision.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Family
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Nov 13, 2007 at 8:02 pm

It helps to hear people out there that have hope and guidance to offer us! I am a family member and it feels like time is standing still! It is very hard right now for all of us! I thank you, for the ones that help us find the ray of hope! God knows we all need it right now! Hearing anger isn't going to make any of this better! I know my life is forever changed! I don't believe either sides of the family will ever be the same! May we all learn from this and never forget Laurel! May Katie get the support from rehab and the family to stand trial!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by llllll
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 13, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Does anyone know the next court date and time?


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Posted by kathy
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Family,

Our prayers are with you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Resident;

Court date is Nov 20th, according to this site.


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Posted by Samuel
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 14, 2007 at 6:40 am

Just so that no one has to wonder about my "controversial" remark in the other message thread (the one that seems to upset Deanna so):

"I have noticed that almost everybody has talked past the issue of widespread adult and teen drinking in Pleasanton, and especially the issue of parents supplying alcohols to their underaged children and friends. It's Pleasanton's dirty little not-so-secret secret, and it's costing us people's lives and futures. But nobody wants to look at that; it's far easier to focus on Katie McKewon and then, as one commentator here predicted, everybody will forget about the case and it's on to the next tragedy.

Ok, I'm done. The Pleasanton community seems bound and determined to repeat this tragedy. Nothing is going to be done to widen that blind curve on Foothill Road where the accident occurred. Nobody is going to pressure the Pleasanton Police Department into running more frequent traffic patrol on Foothill Road, even after so many fatal accidents have happened there. Nobody is going to push to shame parents into NOT hosting drinking parties for their teens. Nobody's going to do a thing to prevent another tragedy like this one from happening again."

Deanna talks about honoring Laurel's memory. The best way to do that is to send a clear, unequivocal message that the community will take measures designed to help tragedies like this one from occurring in the future.

So far, all I've read are attempts to dismiss the responsibility of people for their actions and to deny that there's any communitywide problem in Pleasanton with teen drinking.

What are the positive steps Pleasanton can take to avoid the recurrence of future tragedies? I haven't read any so far, and I doubt I'm ever going to.

And so we stumble on to the next avoidable tragedy, which will ruin more young people's lives. Katie's and Laurel's tragedy could have been averted, but it's too late for that now. Other young people can be saved, but for some reason a lot of people on these message boards don't want to talk about the larger problem and try to hush up people who do want to talk about them with baseless accusations of "irresponsibility" and "anger".

Now, why is that?




 +   Like this comment
Posted by kathy
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 14, 2007 at 9:02 am

Samuel;

You are very much correct about every thing you say. But, what
Deanna is saying is don't be angry over it.

When people read an angry note, they may miss alot of important things that are in there.

Again, your comments make a lot of sense. But, I bit you if you read it yourself you know what I mean.

Lets try to have people hear us, and not judge us.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 14, 2007 at 9:55 am

Kathy,
How can you tell that Samuel's post conveys that he is angry? The answer is you cannot tell because it is a written response, not spoken. You don't know his tone. Look up what Netiquette is. He never directly said that he was angry. He's just pointing out his observations of past events and future consequences. Where's the anger in that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Really want to know
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 14, 2007 at 11:07 am

Why do the teens today get so plastered? Its not just a beer or two at a kegger anymore, its hard alcohol with cans of red bull to keep the drunk going.....Why is this?

Can someone explain why the driver had so much alcohol in her system it would have paralyzed most people.....?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ..
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2007 at 11:22 am

The driver has a drinking problem. This is not the first offense she has had for being drunk in public. alchoholic at the age of 19. Sad.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Nov 14, 2007 at 11:29 am

To Really want to know....

Society as a whole is to blame...Look at t.v., the commercials, during sporting events, anything, booze, booze, booze, they make it seem all so glamorous...Alcholism is a disease that is progressive...But unfortunately it takes some people years to do something about it...Most people that drink alcoholically (sp) will always drink that way until they have had enough or something like this terrible tragedy happens...I see it all the time in A.A., which saves lives...Oh only if we could all live by the most beauitful 12 steps in the world....God bless to all....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ,
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 14, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Dave is right on. As a society we have a problem with alcohol. In every walk of life - from the bottom to the top. Go to an AA meeting and you will see that is true.

WE need to stop promoting alcohol! WE need to be parents first! WE need to deal with a problem immediately! WE need to stop raising the next generation of alcoholics!!

WE need to participate as a community with the police / city sponsored events to change this, rather than stayin home watching MORE television that promotes the exact behavior we are trying to teach our kids NOT to do!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Nov 14, 2007 at 2:05 pm

What so many don't know is that there are so many FUN things that the young people do in the rooms of AA.....Camping trips for days on The American River...Fun SOBER outings....Sobriety is so fun and rewarding, but so many kids don't think they will have have fun without booze, and what they don't realize is that they are not having fun now....The fights, the cops, the unhealthy relationships with their peers, the hangovers, and most importantly here, the tragedy...Please youth there is so much more to life! And it doesn't have to be AA, but hanging with people that do other things than drink....!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by annonymous
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 14, 2007 at 2:06 pm

(portion removed by PW staff) I have dealt with many of my family members who formed a drinking habit and pattern this way. I chose to not follow their lead.

Unfortunately Katie lived with people besides her family who knew she had a problem (portion removed by PW staff).

This is a very sad situation to see happen, (portion removed by PW staff).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by annonymous
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Shelly,

In defense of Kathy, you may also need to look Netiquette.

Here is a part which you may have missed.

Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people's mistakes
Everyone was a network newbie once. And not everyone has had the benefit of reading this book. So when someone makes a mistake -- whether it's a spelling error or a spelling flame, a stupid question or an unnecessarily long answer -- be kind about it. If it's a minor error, you may not need to say anything. Even if you feel strongly about it, think twice before reacting. Having good manners yourself doesn't give you license to correct everyone else.

If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Just as it's a law of nature that spelling flames always contain spelling errors, notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Next page ... Previous page ... Core Rules ... Netiquette Contents


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Posted by NoWine
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Note that one of the largest industries in the valley is the production of alcoholic beverages. The closure of the wine industry may save lives...but result in a substantial reduction of tax income to the state... Is it worth it?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ..
a resident of another community
on Nov 14, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Shuting down the wine industry is not going to stop teen drinking, or save more lives...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shelley
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 14, 2007 at 4:16 pm

"...notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mac
a resident of Avila
on Nov 15, 2007 at 10:51 am

Deanna,

Your words regarding forgiveness are quite true. It is shown that forgiving heals one's own heart more quickly.

My concern is this. Does forgiveness rule out personal responsibility and applying the laws? In Joel Davis' case the driver was forgiven yet never publicly took ownership of his responsibility. AND, he was never charged with what would have otherwise been at the very least a reckless driving ticket. This would have resulted in him taking more account of his own actions of speeding which could result in improved driving. We as a community have the right to know that he was held responsible for his actions and that our streets have a greater likelihood of his improved driving.

In this case with Laurel and Katie, can we evolve from intense emotions and the parties be forgiven for their horrible choices...but the law still be enforced for this crime and for the benefit of the rest of the community.

We forget that the crime is not only against the victim but against our community. We all drive on these roads and should feel secure that the law is holding ppl responsible for their actions.

Am I wrong in this thinking?


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Posted by Paula
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 15, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Mac....your comments in regard to the driver in the death of Joel are in error. The driver had his license suspended for a year. He also organized a fund in Joel's name. For you to say that he never took ownership of this tragedy is a very hurtful statement and also untrue. At the candlelight vigil the night after Joel's death, this young man stood in front of everyone and said..."I am so sorry, I killed my best friend", although I don't monitor his driving on a daily basis I would imagine that he is probably a very careful driver (now). It is important to note that although he was driving too fast, the girl in the front seat had been drinking and her actions also led to the crash.

Please refrain from making statements about specific events when you don't have all of the facts. This tragic accident with Laurel and Katie has opened a lot of wounds for those who have lost loved ones in the past due to car accidents, it's important that misinformation on this comment board doesn't hurt these people even more!


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Posted by friend
a resident of another community
on Nov 15, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Someone made a comment on one of the articles about the crash, I believe it was the first or second article (so probably about 10/25 - 11/2) in which they mentioned a book about forgiveness that they suggested both families read. I cannot remember who posted it or what the book was and would really like to know. Please comment again and let me know what the book was.
Thanks.


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Posted by mac
a resident of Avila
on Nov 15, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Paula,

I am thankful for your comments and update. After a year has passed that is not well known information. I am not the only parent ...there are dozens...who have been concerned about the outcome (and heard nothing was done), so you are right, we have not been able to find updated information. This is very good to note and I thank you.

Just to keep information accurate, though, I have personally been in the driver's presence when he has stated that it was not his fault and was the fault of his passenger. In fact that was the prevalent response for months and many fellow students heard this. We believe it is the driver of the car to set the standard of safety, not the passengers. That is where we many parents and students have felt such anguish. Until one accepts one's role, change cannot occur.

Again, thank you for the update. It has been long in coming and many of us simply could not confirm follow-up information. Maybe that is where the paper and the police do have a need to keep the public better informed. The need for information has been a common desire and comment on these forums.

mac

p.s. I, too, attended the vigil as well and am aware of the presentations made.

God Bless Joel and his family.


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Posted by Annonymous
a resident of Las Positas Garden Homes
on Nov 15, 2007 at 4:01 pm

We all react to situations by our personal involvement in it. If the victim is a family member or friend, we react differently than if the family member or friend was the driver. Stop judging and pray for everyone in this tragic situation, including Katie who will live with the fact she was responsible for the loss of her best friend by one stupid, irresponsible decision. We've all been there. Whether we admit it or not is another story.


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Posted by Marie
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Nov 15, 2007 at 4:45 pm

It actually is illegal to be a drunk passenger, it is called being "drunk in public." In addition, both girls were underage. The relevance is that this is a bigger problem than just placing all blame on Katie. Both girls clearly made very poor decisions and it resulted in a tragic accident. My heart goes out to all of the families involved in this tragedy, but let's put the responsibility on all those that deserve it. Being drunk clearly impairs ones ability to make good decisions, like getting into the car with someone who has been drinking. If we just blame Katie, we lose the more important message of taking responsibility for one's actions.


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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2007 at 6:48 pm

I'm with you Marie, although I think you mean it is illegal to be a drunk passenger <if you are underage>.


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Posted by mom
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on Nov 15, 2007 at 8:20 pm

its so sad how this all could have been avoided if they just stayed home theres no reason to get behind the wheel underage or of age after drinking....but everyone makes mistake r.i.p.


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Posted by concerned mom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2007 at 7:59 am

Marie, I also agree with you.
As a mother of teenage sons, I seem to always worry more if my kids drive with others. Who knows what their friends have taken or ingested?
And I still don't understand the logic of drinking booze for breakfast. This tragedy happened at 10 am. Unbelievable.

For the parents of Laurel: Although I did not know your daughter, as a Catholic I prayed for her soul over All Soul's Day and said all the necessary prayers for a plenary indulgence. I pray for your family at this horrible time.
For Katie and her parents: I am praying for you too.So young to be in so much trouble.


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Posted by friend
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 16, 2007 at 3:38 pm

What time is court on tuesday?


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Posted by Janet Pelletier, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Katie McKewon's court hearing, where she will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, is scheduled at 9 a.m. Tuesday.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 17, 2007 at 11:32 am

On Thanksgiving Day, next Thursday while most of us will be nice and cozy around a Thanksgiving table with our families and loved ones, both these families are in hell. God bless to all the families and everyone....sincerely....


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Posted by Melissa
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 17, 2007 at 6:49 pm

what time is the new hearing sat at?


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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:53 am

Chris,

What a perspective. Your visualization brought tears to my eyes. May we include them in our Thanksgiving grace.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 18, 2007 at 1:19 pm

Mac, hopefull a lot of us will remember to actually say that prayer, for surely those families will need that...What a world if we could all just love and let the hate go...human nature I suppose...chris


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Posted by CARRIE JOHNSON
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2007 at 3:04 pm

LETS FACE IT ALL KIDS UNDERAGE DRINK AND KIDS UNDER21 HAVE NO PROBLEM GETTING ALCOHOL. JUST BECAUSE KATIE MADE A BAD CHICE DOES NOT MAKE HER A HORRRIBLE GIRL IT JUST SO HAPPENS SHE GOT CAUGHT YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE THE NUMBER OF KIDS THAT DO THIS . I WISH LAURAL WOULD HAVE REFUSED TO GET IN THE CAR WITH ANYONE THAT HAD BEEN DRINKING BUT SHE DIDNT MY HEART FEELS SAD FOR BOTH THERE LIVES ARE IMPACTED FOREVER I THINK ALOT MORE GOOD WOULD COME OUT OF THIS IF KATIE BECAME AN ADVOCATE FOR SCHOOLS AND TOLD HER AND HER BFF STORY DONT YOU THINK THE GUILT OF THIS IS HARD ENOUGH ON THIG GIRL?


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Posted by CAITLIN
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2007 at 4:07 pm

WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES AN KATIE MADE A BIG ONE.I HOPE SHE'LL REMEMBER GOD WILL ALWAYS FORGIVE YOU AT ANY TIME.ALL SHE CAN THINK ABOUT NOW IS PROBABLY THE FACT THAT SHE KILLED HER BEST FREIND.SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN STUDING INSTEAD OF PARTYING.


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Posted by annonymous
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 18, 2007 at 4:20 pm

That is if you accept God in your life, he will forgive you if you ask for his forgiveness......And to Carie, not that simple.....This is more than just a little mistake....It is very serious one and consequenses will be legal, not just, let's go advocate....That will be nice if once Katie legally takes care of her resposability, then she can maybe pursue that....Only if she feels that convicted. She may not care, and go do it again....That is drink and drive...I have lived with and been exposed to alcoholics that have been in this position, and they some still don't learn. They need 7 days a week support to stay sober.


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Posted by kristy
a resident of California Reflections
on Nov 18, 2007 at 6:29 pm

What "they" need is a spiritual awakening, which can only be found in the 12 steps of AA....Saved my live and many others I am sure, for I am no longer a danger to society....And I am sober, one day at a blessed time....


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Posted by Annonymous
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Kristy, you are absolutely right about how AA can be a great place to find the support to stay sober. But there are other forms of spiritual awakenings. AA is a great place to get good solid support and guidance, spirituality can also be part of that environment, but I had my spiritual awakening through a close call to death, I decided to grow up and give my life to God and I ask him to lead me each and every day. I also have made time in my life to go to AA and learn there as well.


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Posted by bob
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 4, 2007 at 8:59 pm

Katie will eventually be forgiven, but she won't learn from her mistakes... trust me, I grew up with her.


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Posted by Mr. X
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2008 at 11:40 pm

Don't make the same mistake I did and let the alcohol take control. I made that mistake and am paying for it big time. I've got a court date next week and wished I'd never allowed the alcohol to control me. Go to AA, get help, and move on with your life. Do better things. Volunteer to help the homeless, battered women, etc. I will probably be locked up for more than a couple of years for my mistake. My family is devastated as my Grandmother is dying and I won't even be able to attend the funeral because of incarceration. Be careful, be safe, and don't make the same mistake twice. People make mistakes and I won't judge you, but learn from your past, and don't forget it. If you do, you'll be in the same place I am. You don't want to serve time in then pen thinking that everyday might be your last. I'm going to see Walker next Thursday and I'm almost guaranteed jail time. If I could go back in time and not put myself in the situation I was in I would. It was stupid and immature. When you get charged for assault with a deadly weapon for breaking some guy's face open with a beer bottle after he said he would put a bullet in your head, it's not worth it. Leave the situation. It's childesh and it's stupid. No one should drink and drive under and circumstance. It's a lot easier said than done, I know. Alcohol has an infuence that makes people do things they wouldn't unless sober. Keep your head up, don't chin check anyone in jail unless it's bad beef. I hope that you learn from this and you don't do it again. If it happens twice, especially while on probation, you'll be screwed.


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Posted by Foothill Graduate and sociologist
a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 28, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I stopped about halfway through comments after noticing the social implications here.

Katie made a fatal mistake and chose to drink and drive and it inturn took the life of her best friend and i am not trying to desensitize the tradegy of her death and the crime but...

I have been out of Pleasanton for 5 years and remember my time at foothill and the lives lost and since I've graduated the young people who have died from alcohol related incidents.

MAYBE TAKE A LOOK AT THE SYSTEM not the individual. Pleasanton is a upper-class neighborhood, where most children are provided brand new cars, unlimited money (to buy alcohol and drugs-and you parents forking over unlimited money thinking otherwise-TRUST ME your money goes to drugs and alcohol), and many parents are too busy to be concerned what their children are doing.

MAYBE THE PARENTS OF PLEASANTON NEED TO EVALUATE THEMSELVES!!! All parents even the victims. The victims are usually just as much a part of the party or the alcohol consumption as the "villian" and to stop pointing fingers and look at bigger picture!


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