By Marisa Russell
Best friends Austin Ramines and Brandon Russell were so close, they were like family. But on New Year's Eve, Brandon lost the person closest to him in a car accident. The police investigation never determined the cause of the accident. Police say it could've been anything from high speeds to using a cell phone, but they have not singled out a reason. Brandon will never forget the fun times he spent with Austin, but he says his friend's death has changed the way he drives.
According to the Harford County Sheriff's Department approximately 15% of accidents each year involve a teen. Deputy Grant Krulock says that teens may feel like they are invincible and that they can use the phone or text while driving and not get hurt. The deputies we spoke to want teens to realize just how often they see young people get injured or injured others by making mistakes while driving.
Brandon learned how precious life really is from the accident. He said before the accident he never really thought something like this would impact his life. He describes Austin as, "the person that could make anyone laugh." And says how much he will always love him. Brandon hopes that other teens can learn from his experience and think carefully about the safety decisions they make while driving.
The Harford County Sheriff's say if you must make a call while driving that you should pull off the road first. To raise awareness and celebrate Austin's life a benefit in his honor will be held on March 10 th, from 2-6 p.m. at El Rodeo in Edgewood, MD.