NEW WATERFORD, Ohio (WKBN) – AAA calls summertime the “100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers and for one New Waterford family, it hits close to home.
Tim Walton, 18, was killed in a car accident just days before he was supposed to graduate from Crestview High School last May.
Investigators said the driver of the car, 18-year-old Jacob Chamberlain, admitted to drinking and smoking weed before he, Walton, and another friend got in the car.
“They went to another friend’s house and they left, and they were doing 70 miles an hour down the road we live on. They hit a tree and Tim died,” his mother, Rachel Zubay, said.
Walton was the only one killed.
“Timmy is gone. He’s not suffering anymore. It’s done. It’s finished forever. He won’t be back,” said Anthony Zubay, Walton’s grandpa. “We’re the ones with the empty spot. We’re the ones left behind.”
Now a year later, Chamberlain’s trial is still going on as Walton’s family continues to suffer from their loss.
“It’s hard for us to see everybody moving on and doing the other steps of life, and we’re still stuck in last year,” Rachel Zubay said.
Rosa Lee Zubay, Walton’s grandma, said the pain his family feels will never go away.
“That’s the rest of our life. That’s what we have to deal with.”
With more freedom for teen drivers in the summer months, Walton’s family has some advice for parents — be a friend to your kids so they feel safe calling you when they need to. But there is still a line they say parents shouldn’t cross.
“To get them some beer, or to let them have beer, and go party and all that stuff — it’s not cool. It’s not cool,” Anthony Zubay said.
He and the rest of Walton’s family want to remind people that one bad decision can change everything.
“Our teenagers need to understand by you doing these things — you getting all drunked up, and it’s party time, and it’s fun time — and then taking off in the car, that’s where you do the wrong thing and that’s where what you do can last everybody else a lifetime.”