Evan Minniti staff writer
Car crashes are the number one cause of teenage death in America, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts of California.That statistic hits closer to home than some may think. In 2006, fellow Beverly student Vahagn Setian was only seventeen when lost his life in a drunk driving accident.
Setian’s father, Karen Setian, now works to educate teenagers about the consequences of driving under the influence and has set up the Vahagn Setian Charitable Foundation in order to further this cause. Last Friday, Nov. 13, Karen came to the Beverly to talk about his son’s mistakes and how students can prevent repeating them.
”I know that if my son had not died, then I never would be speaking to you all,” Karen said.
Karen was frank about his son’s decisions that night.
”My son had made a choice that night to step into a car with an adult driver who he knew was drunk,’’ he explained.
Karen was devastated by his son’s death. Despite all the doubt that this could cause for someone, he never forgot his religious beliefs and his faith in God.
”Did I ever lose my faith in my beliefs? I know [God] exists,” Karen said, “because when my wife was pregnant with my daughter, the doctor told us the due date, and it was Vahaghn’s birthday.”
Even after Vahagn’s tragic death, Karen maintains an optimistic outlook on life.
”Life is not a destination,” he said. “It is a journey and you gotta learn to enjoy the ride.”