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An SUV hit a motorcycle in Lincoln Sunday, and in that moment a life changed.

It's too soon to say how much for UNL volleyball superstar Lauren Cook, who is accused of leaving the scene, stopping a mile down the road with a shredded tire and belatedly calling the police. The man on the motorcycle has a broken leg and will recover.

Lauren is 20. The coach's kid driving on a suspended license. The younger Cook had six speeding tickets followed by failure to attend required defensive driving classes, according to the DMV.

I'm a big believer in second chances. If we were all judged by the things we did when we were young, there would be a long wait to get into Heaven, let alone grad school.

I held my breath for a decade or so, waiting for my children's impulsive brains to catch up with their adult bodies. They all made it through without lasting scars or permanent records. Believe me, at times there was luck involved.

Lauren has yet to be charged. Leaving the scene of an injury accident is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Because she is an athlete, she's under the media microscope. Being the child of the coach? Makes the scrutiny all the more intense.

When bad things happen, when mistakes are made, there is always only one thing to be done: Move forward.

How do you hold someone accountable and show some mercy at the same time?

No one died. That's the good news. Someone could have. That's the reality.

And volleyball, of course, is just a game.

We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out.

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Reach Cindy Lange-Kubick at 402-473-7218 or clangekubick@journalstar.com.

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