Little good happens after midnight.
How many times did you hear that ditty as a teenager?
Our parents drilled it into us. We in turn rattle it off to our kids. Police preach it, and preachers swear by it.
Here’s another old saying: “Life can change in a split second.”
You probably heard that one, too, and have said it yourself.
It doesn’t take long for things to go haywire.
That’s how quickly it happened shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, just south of Lima’s downtown area.
A Lima police officer suspected drug activity and tried to stop a van carrying five people. The 17-year-old driving the van, either panicking or trying to show his bravado, made a split-second decision to hit the gas pedal. Police pursued the van down Kibby Street for just a few blocks when the juvenile driver ran a red light at the intersection of Central Avenue.
The inevitable happened next.
The van slammed into a car going through the intersection, killing one of the car’s passengers.
Lives would change forever.
•Devontae Williams, 21, the passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at St. Rita’s Medical Center. His life ended just three months after he was shot in the stomach during another late night incident that claimed the life of Marcus Simpson Jr.
•Drugs would be found in the van and the four juveniles and adult who were in the vehicle face likely criminal charges.
•Police officers now live with the realization that someone died during a chase in which they were involved. Should they have done something differently? They’ll agonize about that as their bosses conduct an internal review.
Back on Kibby Street, as dusk approached Saturday night, an older and younger man weaved their bicycles between cars stopped for a train and kids stood in line at an ice cream stand. Life in the neighborhood seemed innocent enough nearly two days later.
But the evening had yet to yield to darkness. And as everyone knows, little good happens when people are prowling the streets after midnight.
ROSES AND THORNS: Golf balls keep flying into the rose garden, but there’s not a golfer in sight
Rose: To Andy Bollenbacher, 21, the grandson of Otto and Bette Bollenbacher, of Lima. He drove a golf ball 302 yards at the Pittsburgh Long Drive competition and will now compete for a $250,000 prize at the Remax World Long Drive Championship Sept. 20 to 27 in Mesquite, Nevada. At 5 feet 7 and 200 pounds, Andy generates a lot of leverage in his swing and has knocked a ball as far as 480 yards, or four football fields (we’re counting end zones).
Rose: To Lucy Mathers, of Lima. At age 103, she threw out the ceremonial first pitch of a Lima Locos game last week.
Rose: To the family and friends of Joi “Davey” Anderson, who died at age 76 Friday morning. Suffering from Stage 4 brain and lung cancer, Davey’s last wish was to attend a car and tractor show with loved ones. They made it happen on Monday, creating and bringing a show to him.
Rose: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, who represents Allen County, had the most fiscally responsible legislative agenda among Ohio’s 113th Congressional delegates, according to the National Taxpayer Union Foundation.
Rose: A dinner out Friday night saw Judge Glenn Derryberry of Allen County Juvenile Court and his challenger in the November election, Carlene Huston-Kinworthy, selecting the same restaurant, Casa Lu Al, and being seated just tables away from each other.
Thorn: Johnathan Ervin, 19, threatens to kill students at Apollo Career Center and to rape and burn alive a female student, then ends up being sentenced to just six months of a possible 4½-year jail term by Judge David Cheney with no order of mental counseling.
Thorn: Five Ohio colleges ranked among the top 25 most expensive public universities in the nation, based on 2011 data: No. 5 Miami ($24,674 a year tuition; doesn’t include room and board); No. 9 Ohio State ($20,000); No. 16 Cincinnati; No. 9 Kent State and No. 22 Ohio University.
PARTING SHOT: Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?