Tragedy brings out the best and worst
by Chris Collett
January 17, 2014 11:29 PM | 18539 views | 6 6 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
This column is different from any other I have ever written. It is about a couple that I have never met but have heard and read a lot about. Some of the things I read have prompted me to write about them.

On Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, Ryan Quinton wed his sweetheart Kali Shay Dobson in Ball Ground. The ceremony would be the fairy tale wedding they had longed for. The pictures I have seen through social media show them to be a beautiful couple. Their happiness was evident from their smiles.

Only a few hours after vowing their love to one another, they left the wedding reception to start their lives together as husband and wife.

Then tragedy struck.

The car they were in left the roadway, resulting in an accident that took the life of the beautiful young bride.

It is sad when anyone dies. It is especially sad when a young person dies. But to lose your life only a few hours after saying your wedding vows is something that very few people worldwide will ever experience. The pain her husband, family, and friends are feeling must be unimaginable.

Incidents of this nature tend to attract the media. This particular story made the local and national news. There are countless numbers of news reports about this tragedy online. I certainly can understand that because of the rarity of an event of this nature. So I have no problem with the media sharing this story of tragedy with us if for no other reason than to let us know we need to pray for this family. That is the job of the media.

And although the media reported the facts as they were given them by law enforcement, they seem to do so with great sympathy for all associated with this tragedy.

But then I began to read some of the comments associated with the story. It never ceases to amaze me how brilliant some people are that have no idea why or how this accident occurred. However, they feel this need to voice their opinion.

Law enforcement is working this case like any other accident that involves a death. Standard tests are conducted to see if there is anything that might have contributed to the accident. I am in law enforcement and am not privy to the results of these tests and therefore can’t even provide an educated guess as to the future. But many online have been free with their opinions.

Like I said in the opening of this column, I have never met Ryan or Kali. But I know a lot of people that have. And those people are grieving over the loss of this sweet young lady.

The people that love this couple aren’t making public comments about the law enforcement investigation in this case. They are making comments about how their hearts are broken over this great loss.

So I tell you what I am going to do. I am going to pray for Ryan and the rest of the family of Kali Shay. I have no judgments as to this tragedy. I only have compassion for the loss each of you has suffered.

I wish we lived in a kinder world. I wish we lived in a world where people would rally together during a tragedy instead of pointing fingers. I wish we lived in a world that understands the need for a family to grieve without some trying to cast a shadow over their grief. But we don’t.

So let’s just let law enforcement do their job and stay out of it. The media will let us know what we need to know. And it appears to me as if the media has shown great compassion while reporting the facts of this story.

Kali’s family and friends need our continued prayers, as do the ones sharing their opinions without understanding.

If you have ever heard Kali sing as I have on the radio, then you know that she had talent. And from her friends I read she had something more important; a testimony of God’s saving grace in her life.

I have lost the truest of love in my life, but not to death. It was lost to poor decisions on my part. It hurts. Ryan’s pain is greater.

Ryan, we live is a cruel world sometimes. People like to hear themselves talk. But listen closer. God has many talking to him on your behalf.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.
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Donna P
January 22, 2014
I have followed this story since first reading about it on MSNBC. It breaks my heart and I agree that this family's pain is probably unbearable, except that they have no choice but to bear it. I have read comments that were tasteless and cruel. May God have mercy on the souls of those who would be critical during this period of grief. I'm so sorry for your loss. It absolutely is one of the saddest things that I've ever heard of happening. Kali is beautiful and talented and one day you will see her again. Blessings and comfort to the family.
January 19, 2014
Thank you Chris for putting into words what I have wanted to say. I sang at her funeral service and God granted me the ability to get through it without breaking down, but this morning, the tears won't stop falling from my face. I hope this community will continue to remember Ryan and Kali's family in the coming days. God Bless us one and all and thank your for an article well written.
Stacey Martin Luebke
January 18, 2014
Chris, I am glad that you took the time to write about this. You said it well my friend. We all need to look at the big picture and not point fingers. I have and will continue to pray for them. God Bless you Chris.
B. gayton
January 18, 2014
Mr. Collet,

I can't thank you enough for these kind words. Kali has an amazing family. They have chosen love over anger or judgement and through this love they have been a blessing to us all.

Cathy Holcomb
January 18, 2014
Thank you and God bless you for your kindness and sweet words for this precious family. Ryan and Kali's family is surrounded by a community that loves them. Why people choose to point fingers never ceases to amaze me. Does it even cross their minds that someone has died and that loss is tremendous? My guess would be no; shame on those who are trying to make this worse than it already is. May God have mercy in them all. May God continue to wrap his loving arms around Ryan and both families and friends. All that matters is that they be allowed to grieve and blaming someone will not bring her back. So grow up, stop making yourself judges by trying to point at someone. We have ALL sinned.
jacque kerstetter
January 18, 2014
I love this it breaks my heart as I was sitting here crying about my mom dieing Dec 16th of this year when I started reading this tears started pouring even more I will pray for the family and I want to think you chris Collette for all your help when my mom also passed
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