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A young Raleigh man was killed this Sunday just hours before he was to marry his fiancée, Karen Taylor. Chris Raynor, age 28, was riding in the back seat with a groomsman on their way to breakfast early Saturday morning when they were hit by James Howard Early as he ran a red light. Early was cited for running the light and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Raynor was thrown from the vehicle and then hit by a third vehicle. He was rushed to WakeMed where he was later pronounced dead. Raynor had not been wearing a seat belt at the time, which is not required for adults in the rear seat in North Carolina. However, the responsibility for this terrible accident clearly lies with the other driver, who failed to observe the traffic signal. His inattention has surely caused irreparable harm to the family, friends and future wife of this young man.

What should have been a beautiful day of celebration, turned instead, into an impromptu memorial service.

It is accidents like these that really make a person take pause and consider how fragile life is. No one can be sure of anything, and we should all take time to cherish those around us. We should also try to keep stories like this in the back of our minds, to keep us from forgetting what is really important.

No meeting or deadline is worth this price. No errand so important that safe driving should be forgotten. Take time to be cautious. If you find yourself speeding, slow down. If you aren’t sure that you’ll make it through that yellow light, stop instead.

It’s always worth it.

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