Feb. 21, 2000 – March 6, 2022
Terry de la Mesa Allen Nilsen Jr., known to everyone as “TJ,” was killed by a drunken driver one year ago. TJ grew up in Pacifica and graduated from Shasta Summit Prep. His memorial service was held at Pacifica State Beach. A large memorial heart remained on the beach for some time.
TJ would have been a senior at Cal State Chico and was within months of graduating and starting a promising career when he was struck from behind as he rode his moped home from work. Instead, TJ received a posthumous Certificate of Achievement from the college, and the flags on campus were flown at half-staff in his honor.
The drunken driver was 24, gainfully employed and had an infant son. He was sentenced to prison, but jail time does not bring back a life.
Because of the drunken driver’s bad decision to drink and drive, everyone connected to this death has suffered — TJ’s parents, Terry Nilsen and Jenna Gilman, his grandparents, relatives and friends, as well as the drunken driver’s parents, relatives, friends and infant son.
To anyone who is reading this: Please don’t drink and drive. Please don’t let anyone who has been drinking get behind the wheel. The pain that can be caused by impaired driving is simply too great.
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