Shelby Sudbrink: The call no parent can imagine and every parent fears

With a teenage driver on the brink of licensehood, I followed the recent death of Shelby Sudbrink with a newfound sense of urgency and trepidation.

Sudbrink, a happy-go-lucky 17-year-old from Atascadero with a luminous smile, was killed in a car crash on Jan. 6.

She was on her way to pick up a friend for a day at the beach on a Friday morning near the end of winter break. It’s not clear what happened, but she lost control of her Toyota 4Runner on a curvy stretch of Templeton Road and crashed into a tree.

I can’t imagine what followed, how her family was notified or what they’ve had to go through over the past week.

It is truly a parent’s worst nightmare.