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High school friends victims in separate accidents on Pitts Memorial Drive

When Morgan Pardy read about a fatal accident on Pitts Memorial Drive on Thursday it hit her hard — as do all reports of car accidents, especially ones on that stretch of road.

That’s because Pardy herself was in an accident on Pitts, almost exactly one year ago — one that left her partially paralyzed.

When she found out the person killed in Thursday’s crash was 21-year-old Doug Mercer — a friend of hers from high school — she said it made the news that much worse.

“When I heard it was him, it just kinda brought me back, very far,” she said. “I knew I had to help in some way — sharing a bunch of stuff, donating as much as I can to the family. I can’t imagine — that could have been me. The same road. It tore me apart.”

Morgan Pardy

Morgan Pardy was paralyzed following an accident on Pitts Memorial Drive on March 20, 2017. (Cal Tobin/CBC; Morgan Pardy/Facebook)

The Conception Bay South woman said seeing accidents on the same road where she had hers “really hurts,” she said, making her want to help — one of the reasons she donated $100 to a crowdfunding campaign providing money to Mercer’s family.

“I feel horrible for people and I tries to help them as much as I can,” she said, tearing up. 

“I just feel so horrible for the family because I can’t imagine my mom, you know, the way she would be. She’s been helping me every single day … even when she talks about it, when she hears about it, she cries, because she feels bad for the parents. She gets torn up about it, and I can’t imagine if I left her life.”

‘Put a smile on everybody’s face’

Pardy says she and Mercer used to hang out together in high school.

“He was very quiet, but he was so charming, in a way,” she said.

“He was loyal. You could trust him. He had respect for everybody. He was kind — he always had a smile on his face, always laughing. That’s the first thing I remember, is his laugh, because his laugh was a really sweet laugh. He just put a smile on everybody’s face, all the time.”

‘They don’t know what happened in that car.’ – Morgan Pardy

Pardy said compounding the pain are the arguments and assumptions made on social media posts about accidents and tragedies.

“When people were sharing things about me, I find they jump to conclusions,” she said.

More than what’s on the news

“And everybody has their opinions, 100 per cent, but when people are, like, fighting with people about what happened, they don’t know what happened in that car. They don’t know what happened in Doug’s car.”

There’s much more to an accident than what’s typically seen on the news, she said.

“They only see the picture. They only see the ambulance and the only hear what the cops have to say, but that’s not all of it,” she said. “So I just feel like people shouldn’t judge what happens when they don’t know what happened.”

As for herself, Pardy says she’s recovering.

“Therapy’s going well and I have a lot of support,” she said. “It’s been a rough road, but it’s going good.”

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