No one can truly feel the depth of the sorrow of the Knupp family, whose 14-year-old son, Gavin, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Grays Corner Road three weeks ago.
Although the outpouring of sympathy from friends, neighbors and acquaintances in Ocean Pines, Berlin and Ocean City has been extraordinary in its own right, it cannot restore to the family that which it lost in such a tragic fashion.
Some light might be introduced into that darkness if the people involved in this devasting circumstance — the driver and anyone who aided in his or her disappearance — would turn themselves into the authorities.
It is conceivable that could happen in the interim between the writing of this opinion and its Thursday publication date, as the driver and any others involved must realize the futility of trying to evade the consequences of their actions forever.
But should nothing change between now and then, the suffering will go on, and not just for the family of the victim, but also for whoever was behind the wheel and whoever may have aided in that person’s attempt to avoid prosecution.
This, however, will be a different kind of suffering. It will entail the assignment of guilt by society, warranted or not, based as it would be on speculation, perception and suspicion.
It is the latter that’s the most ruinous of all because it is unrelenting in the absence of facts. Doors will close, careers will end and friends and acquaintances will look the other way until a fact-based resolution presents itself.
Meanwhile, the members of the Knupp family will reassemble the remaining pieces of their lives and attempt to move on as best they can.
Don’t do this to them. Turn yourself in or give the police the information they need. The punishment will be severe, but even more daunting is the prospect of having to lead a lonely, lonely life on the run.