How does Andy's mother refer to the car crash that took Rob's life in Tears of a Tiger?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the Chapter entitled, "Private Pain," in this first of Sharon Draper's trilogy about Hazelwood High School, Andy returns from the talent show, and his mother greets him, asking how the show went; he wonders aloud why she asks when she has not bothered to come. His mother asks Andy if anything is wrong; he replies that he has had a "little fight" with Keisha. Encouraging her son that he and Keisha will "work it out," Andy's mother notes that the girl helped Andy get through difficult times.

--...I didn't deserve her. That's why I lost her.

--No don't talk like that. You deserve the very best that life has to offer. As time goes on and we learn to put that "unfortunate incident" behind us, you 'll find that your life will be full of wonderful opportunities....

Angered, Andy asks her to stop calling Robert's death "that unfortunate accident." While the mother tries to mitigate the accident in order for Andy to overcome his guilt,  Andy is faced with the reality of his friend's death and the grim truth that he was drunk as he was driving.