Opinion: One North Carolina teenager's story and how it can save lives

Photo contributed by Baker Burleson / William Burleson, left, is stands with his parents, Amy and Baker, at a ceremony to start his senior year in Charlotte, NC.

Meet William Burleson, a high school senior in Charlotte, N.C., graduating this spring, with plans to major in English and psychology in college. He's also training for a half marathon, plays pickup basketball, loves Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain and has been known to cheer for the Carolina Panthers. (I know. Don't hold it against him.)

He's also a writer.

At 18, William is trying to save lives through writing.

This winter, William touched the abyss and returned from it. Other teenagers - at school, church, the team, even your own home - are close to the abyss, as well.

His story is their story.

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Around midnight on Dec. 11, William was going to quietly slip out of his bedroom, down to his Jeep Cherokee and drive it - 75, 85, 95 mph - into a highway median.