Family shares lesson
Scott Rost's life was finally on the upswing. The 27-year-old had a good job with Rickard Electric in Fargo, a girlfriend his family thought would become their future daughter-in-law and a recent travel opportunity to see his beloved New York Yan...
Scott Rost's life was finally on the upswing.
The 27-year-old had a good job with Rickard Electric in Fargo, a girlfriend his family thought would become their future daughter-in-law and a recent travel opportunity to see his beloved New York Yankees.
When Rost's family in Rolette, N.D., received a 3 a.m. phone call earlier this month informing them their son was killed in a rollover accident in Fargo, they were flooded with visions of the life he'd never have.
Rost died surrounded by friends after he was ejected from his car near the 5500 block of 32nd Avenue. He'd been drinking earlier in the evening, police said.
Rost's family is reeling from his death, said his mother, Carla, but through their grief they want to send a message to others: Drunken driving deaths don't always happen to other people.
The Rosts never thought Scott's accident would happen to them.
"Part of us is missing," Carla Rost said.
"We talk about the broken chain," she said. "We talk about Scott's future and the children he would have had. His nephew is going to miss him teaching him baseball. His younger brother will miss a friend to talk to. His sisters are going to miss the advice he gave them as the oldest son.
"There's just no life anymore ... and it's so sad," she said.
Police said Rost was driving east about 2 a.m. on Oct. 14 when his vehicle rolled into the ditch on the south side of 32nd Avenue. He wasn't wearing a seat belt.
He and his girlfriend, Megan, who was a passenger, were transported to Fargo Innovis Hospital. Rost died at 2:43 a.m.
Another vehicle driven by Rost's friend, Christopher Haugen, rolled on the north side of 32nd Avenue at the same time as Scott's accident. Haugen escaped uninjured, but two passengers in his car were taken to the hospital, police said.
Carla Rost, a recovering alcoholic who works for an ambulance service in Rolette, said she warned her children about the dangers of alcohol. She'd seen too many accidents, too many families grappling with loss because of drinking and driving.
Now she wants to take the messages she gave as a mom and spread them to the greater community.
She said she hopes to speak to schools or other organizations about her son's accident so people can learn how one decision can alter several lives.
"Life stops for us," Rost said. "It goes on for everybody else. That's the way it is. I feel like I can't let his life just drop.
"I need people to know if they want someone to talk to, I'm here."
Stories like the Rosts' are becoming too common in North Dakota, said Robyn Litke, coordinator for the Safe Communities Coalition of the Red River Valley.
North Dakota in 2006 ranked seventh-highest in the nation for the percentage of fatal alcohol-related car crashes, she said.
"We have a real problem in our state," Litke said. The Safe Communities Coalition, a nonprofit, sponsors victim impact panels and other initiatives to try to curb drunken driving.
The Rosts said they've been touched by the outpouring of support from people across the state since Scott's death.
His life was much more than the alcohol-related accident that led to his death, Carla Rost said.
A doting uncle to his nephew, Landon, Rost had recently visited the boy and his sister Amanda, 25, in Virginia. He enjoyed spending time with his other sister Rebecca, 23, and brother Kevin, 20, she said.
Rost loved the outdoors and was an avid biker and camper. He struggled with drug use at one time, but overcame the problems and graduated from the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.
"He was a respected electrician with a very bright future," said Randy Rost, his father.
The Rosts have found some solace in knowing their son's organs were donated to help others in need.
"My son, he was a good kid," Carla Rost said.
"He was liked by a lot of people. All over North Dakota, we got cards. The way his life ended ... it was not a reflection of his life."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Melinda Rogers at (701) 241-5524 Family shares lesson Melinda Rogers 20071028