SWL: Students remind peers of community’s loss

Above: Left – The site of a tragic accident, before recent work to spruce up the memorial. (Photo by Susan Fitzgerald) Right – The crash victims, sisters Meghan and Shauna Murphy, now being remembered by a new generation of Algonquin students. (Photo from The Murphy Foundation website)

This Monday will mark a tragic anniversary. October 13, 2005 is the day that Southborough teens Meghan and Shauna Murphy died in a car crash on Northboro Road. The accident was caused by speeding and drinking.

Southborough Wicked Local ran a story last month on efforts by Algonquin’s Leah Johnston and Hannah Mooney to share with peers a lesson learned from the tragedy:

Two wooden crosses beside Northboro Road where Meghan and Shauna Murphy crashed and died Oct. 13, 2005, stand as a reminder that underage drinking and driving drunk can have heavy consequences.

Nearly nine years after the two Southborough sisters died, two Algonquin Regional High School students remade the roadside memorial hoping to remind their friends to make good decisions behind the wheel. After weeks of work, the pair raised $110 at a [September 18th] night fundraiser to cover the cost of the updates and more. . .

“Decisions you make can really affect the rest of your life,” Johnston said. “We wanted to really get across the fact that this could happen to you.”. . .

Chris Murphy, Meghan and Shauna’s father, said he gave permission to Johnston and Mooney to redo the site, offering to fund the project. The proposition caught Murphy by surprise, he said, a touching sentiment so long after the accident.

“It’s somewhat comforting to know that the accident is not forgotten,” Murphy said. “The students who go by (the site) now were in elementary school when it happened.” 

The Murphys continued their daughters’ memories with The Murphy Sisters Foundation, offering a scholarship for Algonquin High School students and a safe driving program called In Control Advanced Driver Training.

Though inactive in recent years, Murphy said he hopes to renew the $2,500 scholarship this year, asking students to write essays suggesting how they would promote safe driving practices. They are also hoping to raise funds through an email campaign for the In Control program, subsidizing the tuition fee for students.

You can read the full SWL article with a photo of the spruced up memorial here.

You can read past coverage of the tragedy here and The Murphy Foundation here.

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