21 Days in Support of 21: Day 7
On December 21, 1990, 17-year-old Tanya Lynn Stage was at a slumber party with friends. But what her parent’s thought was your typical, teen slumber party with pizza and girl talk wasn’t quite as it seemed. The mother hosting the party served alcohol to the girls at the event. Then, later in the evening, Tanya and another girl decided to go across the street to a gas station to meet up with four guys and go for a ride.
As they drove down a back-country road, the teens all continued to drink. The driver hit a patch of ice and lost control of the car, going down an embankment and striking a tree. Unbelted in the backseat, Tanya died of a broken neck on impact. One other passenger was also killed.
After the crash her family had to deal with the multitude of emotions … anger at both the driver and the mother who served alcohol to their daughter and guilt, wondering if they could have done something different, paid more attention or talked to her more about the dangers of underage drinking and getting in the car with someone who was drinking.
If Tanya were alive today she would be 42. What would she be doing now? Would she have a family? Would she be happy? These are the questions her family is left with, even now, 25 years later.
Tanya’s father, Randall Young, now works with MADD as a program coordinator in Ohio, and his wife, Sue, volunteers. They hope that their work with MADD in Tanya’s honor can prevent others from experiencing the devastation underage drinking can cause.
You can create a tribute page for your loved one killed or injured because of underage drinking, or drunk or drugged driving at madd.org/tributes.