I wish to thank everyone who assisted at the fatal traffic accident on Feb. 18 on Route 68 in front of Connoquenessing Elementary School, especially to the woman who comforted my niece, Holly Merkner, and said prayers for my nephew, Mark W. Bishop, who died in the crash.
As Holly held the head of her dying brother, she too could hear Justin Enslen, the driver of the other vehicle, screaming.
And later, as news of Mark’s death reached his family, we too began to scream: “No, please God, no; don’t let this be happening again!”
It was only six months ago that Holly’s beloved husband, Doug, died of a brain tumor. He was only 39 years old, and she was there by his side also.
Since then, her brother Mark had been her shoulder to lean on. Feb. 18 was her day off work, so Mark asked her to go with him to the car show in Pittsburgh.
So many lives were affected that day. There were all those people who were stopped in traffic who were late for work or missed appointments because Enslen chose to drive while under the influence.
When news of Mark’s death reached his co-workers at Penn United, many were too stunned to continue working, because Enslen chose to drive under the influence.
A netting had to be draped over Mark’s casket, and we were warned not to touch him because of the “filler” that had to be used in his body, because Enslen chose to drive while under the influence.
And, at Mark’s funeral, the Rev. Alden W. Towberman, who officiated, asked us to pray for Justin Enslen and his family because their lives also were affected by his choice to drive while under the influence.
And so we did.
Mark Bishop liked to get “high” too, but he didn’t need drugs. Instead, Mark chose to get “high on life” — by believing in God, by spending time with family and friends, by graduating from college, by going to work every day, by riding his Harley, by going camping, by volunteering at the VA hospital, by donating to and collecting for Toys for Tots, and by hanging out with his beloved dog, Charlie.
Wherever needed, we always knew we could depend on Mark to be there — until Justin Enslen, who the Butler Eagle reported on Feb. 19 as having “an extensive criminal record,” chose to drive while under the influence.