Taking risks and doing crazy things are part and parcel of being a teenager. I pulled my fair share of idiotic stunts at that age, that’s for sure. All teens are going to test the limits and do things they know are risky at some point. I truly wish more of them would stop and ask themselves if the possible outcomes are worth it. I remember all too well, though, that at that age you believe you are invincible. Bad things happen to other people, right? Unfortunately, no one is super-human and bad things sometimes happen. Our community has suffered a great loss this week due to the risks teens sometimes take.
Gavin Roskamp has been an extremely active and vocal part of our community for quite a long time. He was a technology enthusiast and smart as hell. He stayed busy beyond reason with extra-curricular activities, helping people with computer issues online and yet still managed to pull a perfect grade point average in high school. He was a good friend to so many – both online and in “real” life. He always had a shoulder to lean on available, and words of wisdom that would make you believe he was far older than his sixteen years. Vince Bognot sums up the huge impact Gavin had on people he had never met:
“Gavin and I spoke online nearly every day. Even though I never met him, he was like a brother to me.”
I hate that I now have to write about Gav in the past tense. Last Monday, he and a few other teens were out joyriding in a car. They decided to go “Hill-hopping,” a past time that many kids this age apparently enjoy. The hopped a hill at high speed, flipped the car three times and slammed into a tree. Gavin and an 18 year old woman (the driver of the car) were killed instantly.
My heart breaks for Gavin’s friends and family – both online and off. This kid had one hell of a bright future and had such a good heart. Losing him will leave a hole in our hearts that we should not have had to experience. I hope all of you will stop and think twice when you decide to do something reckless. There are so many things you can do to get a “rush” or a “thrill” which are far safer than hurtling your car over hills at high rates of speed, y’all.
Gavin wasn’t invincible, no, but he was definitely a great kid who will now be missed by us all.