Parents who lived through similar tragedy reflect on recent fatal teen car crashes

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CLEVELAND - A warning for families and young drivers after multiple fatalities across NE Ohio.

In just one week's time traffic accidents have claimed the lives of four teenagers.

Sunday, May 22, Lindsey Rotuno, 17, was involved in a crash on her way home from prom in Lorain County.

Thursday, May 25, Myka Gray, 18, and Kayleigh O’Brien, 19 were involved in a crash in Claridon Township.

Sunday, May 28, Zachary St. Jean, 16, died after an accident a few days earlier in Hunting Valley.

The tragedies hit close to home for Michael and Meredith Weil.

In 2015, their son Josh and his friend Alex Doody, both 18, were passengers in a vehicle that crashed on County Line Road near Gray Eagle Chase in Gates Mills

“We have a sense of solidarity with their parents,” said Michael, “And it's just so sad that this is happening again and again it’s stunning in fact.”

Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt Kevin Harris says “inexperience and speed” are two of the most common contributing factors in accidents involving teenagers.

“It’s horrible rolling up on scene,” said Sgt. Harris. “You can never prepare yourself to see those types of images.”

He says young drivers need to plan ahead, pay attention and slow down.

Both Michael and Meredith hope that young people and all drivers will take a moment to think of the “consequences of their actions” and “impact on others” before getting behind the wheel.

“It’s one of those lessons to live every day to the fullest and to not sweat the small stuff,” said Meredith, “You really work to love the people around you and celebrate life.”

Josh and Alex's fathers, Rick Doody and Michael Weil, last year decided to channel their grief into something positive by starting the foundation, Catch Meaning.

Catch Meaning  supports causes that honor the boys and will help provide grants to other young adults like Alex and Josh. This year's event was held at the House of Blues on May 28.

For more information on Catch Meaning Fest, click HERE.

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