The Orion

Eliminate reckless drinking to prevent avoidable deaths


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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Nicholas Castellanos, a first-year student at Chico State, was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle Friday night at the intersection of West Fifth and Walnut streets.

The driver of the vehicle was sober and traveling at the correct speed limit, and the light was green.

The toxicology report for Castellanos has yet to be released so it is unclear whether or not he was intoxicated when he didn’t look both ways before crossing the street.

Yet another Chico State student is dead because of the blatant disregard Chico State students and members of the community have for traffic laws.

In the past few years, multiple Chico State students have died in vehicle-related accidents.

One being the accident that resulted in the death of Austin Silver and Bryan Mata-Adams, both Chico State students, last year.

The driver of the car, Arriaga Rodriguez, drove the vehicle off the road and into Big Chico Creek.

Another death was that of Kristina Chesterman, a Chico State nursing student who was struck and killed by a car in 2013.

Chesterman was riding her bike home from the library when she was hit and killed by Riley Hoover, a Chico local who was later sentenced to seven years in prison.

Those responsible for these accidents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

These incidences, which ended or ruined countless lives, could have been prevented.

Even if Castellanos was not intoxicated, this tragic accident can still stand as a warning for those students who spend their weekend nights drunkenly roaming around downtown Chico.

The streets are always filled with inebriated individuals who are apparently incapable of walking on the sidewalk, endangering their lives and the lives of those around them.

Alcohol and drug education is included in a student’s education in elementary school, and that education is continued throughout college, especially at Chico State.

However, it seems that this education is absent from the actions many Chico State students partake in. Whether that be driving while intoxicated or drinking irresponsibly.

This kind of behavior can result in the killing of someone else or of oneself.

Accidents like this can be prevented.

Members of the Chico community need to take responsibility for their actions, even when they are intoxicated.

Whether it be walking on the sidewalk, calling a friend or taking a cab, there are alternative and safe methods to travel.

As much as Chico has tried to rid itself of its drunken reputation, these efforts do not matter until people stop dying avoidable deaths.

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Eliminate reckless drinking to prevent avoidable deaths