Our Honor Family for the 2019 Walk Like MADD Greenville Upstate is the Carosiello Family.
Victor’s mother, Margie, though biased, describes Victor as being “brilliant.” He was indeed mathematically and artistically gifted. At 12 years old, he put a keystroke logger on the family computer to figure out the password. He was a Palmetto Fellow and Trustee Scholarship recipient at Clemson University. Though these accolades are impressive, Victor was best known as a creative genius. As is true of most exceptionally creative people, he “marched to the beat of a different drummer.” He not only thought “outside the box,” but he lived outside of it as well. He felt no compulsion to be like others or conform to what society expected of him. He was his own person, who did things his own way, never to be rushed or diverted to goals other than his own. He once dyed his hair Duke blue when he started Clemson. His creative nature compelled him to venture into uncharted territory and to create experiences that helped him make some sense of the world as he sought to discover his place in it.
Victor Bartley Carosiello was killed by an impaired, reckless driver on October 25, 2013, at 6:20 am while he was on his way to work. He was hit head-on at 69 miles per hour in 45 mph zone. His body was so damaged that none of his organs could be donated, as he had wished. He was doing everything right: driving under the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, driving on the right side of the road, and acting responsibly. Margie and Allen lost their son in a preventable, unnecessary crash.
Those who went to school with Victor, those who were his friends, and even those who only knew him superficially described to Margie and Allen his inherent kind heart – one who cared for others and often sought out those in need. He was the guy who wrote a note in his creative writing class to a fellow student who needed support. They described his innate goodness that could be seen in his “eyes” that opened a bridge into his soul. They admired his creativity and courage to go against the “norm.” There were no pretenses, only Victor being who he really was. One of his high school teachers told a story about his class having a book club meeting at a local coffee house. At the time, the teacher’s husband was in ill health, and she was quite emotional. A song played on the stereo system in the coffee house, and she stopped to listen. The song touched her. She asked if anyone knew the name of the song. Victor told her. A few days later, Victor came into class and handed her the CD of the song. She told me how incredibly sensitive and kind the gesture was. That is the kind of person Victor was, always thinking of others in his day to day walk in life. It is only natural to envision what he would have done with life, had he been able to live it.
A road sign was placed at the site of Victor’s death in hopes that those who pass by it will go a little slower, drive a little safer, and realize that a 2,000 pound automobile can be a weapon of death. On the sign, people can read Victor’s name and see a reminder of how brief life can be.
Victor’s wishes were to be cremated. Small portions of his ashes have been left in Amsterdam, Holland; Athens, Greece; Crete; Japan; Paris, and throughout South Africa where his brother was preaching this summer. In the US, his ashes have been scattered along all three coast lines and several mountain ranges. Closer to home, his ashes have been spread at the Chattooga River, Oconee State Park, and the Griffith Cemetery in Saluda, SC. These are places that were either close to Victor’s heart, or they are places he will never get to travel because his life was cut short. It helps Margie and Allen to know that they still have a part of him that they can take wherever they go and can leave a part of him in those places