Karen Setian speaks on Vahagn Foundation Photo by BEN SHOFET
Beverly Hills High School

Father of deceased son speaks on drunk driving

Karen Setian, on Nov. 29, spoke in his annual assembly in the Salter Theatre about the passing of his son, Vahagn, in a drunk driving accident.

It was 10 years ago when the entire Beverly Hills High School community went into shock. On the night of Dec. 2, 2006, three Beverly students entered the car of drunk 26-year-old Texan, resulting in an accident on South Beverly Drive.

Then-senior Vahagn Setian was the only person in the crash who died.

“All I managed to do was close his eyes and nothing more,” Karen Setian, the father of Vahagn, said.

Rather than remain silent, Karen created the Vahagn Setian Charitable Foundation to educate the community about the importance of the decisions that people make in their daily lives.

“I don’t want you or your parents to carry the pain I do,” Karen said in the Salter Theatre. “That’s not the point…but please remember my words. There are certain things that you do that there is no reverse button. Whatever the consequences are, you, your parents and your surroundings are going to have to deal with it.”

The foundation, in previous years, put on various events from a fashion show to a run from Baker to Vegas. But for the past five years, the foundation’s main event is an annual 5K run with the intention of keeping the memory of Vahagn alive as well as bringing the community together.

“This is about celebrating life; it’s not about sadness,” Karen said.

Service Learning has also made an effort to attract members of the community to support the foundation.

“The walk is about being together and appreciating life. It’s a day where you can walk with your friends and family, and really value what you have in life,” Service Learning chair Jonah Pourat said.

Those interested in supporting the cause may donate here.

“Even if one life is saved, this is all well worth it,” Karen said. “All I want you is to remember that there is one second, one moment, where you have to make a choice, just make the right one please.”