I don't know why you are trying to make people feel guilty for their participation in this thread.
This thread wasn't started to discuss Thom--he's not identified in the opening post--it was started to discuss the issue of drunk driving, and that's what most of the thread has been about.
Thom wasn't identified in this thread until the accident, and his arrest, became a highly public matter because of the news releases, and many news stories about it, that began appearing and which were available all over the internet--just typing his name into Google brings up numerous pages with pictures of his mug shot, in addition to the news account of the accident and arrest.
So there was no invasion of privacy going on in this thread--people were commenting on a publicly known matter, and a legal case that was going on in a public courtroom. And I'm sure this case was talked about by considerably more people in Thom's community and social circle than the very few acquaintances of his who posted in this thread. Why wouldn't you expect people to talk about it? It's something that arouses all sorts of emotions and reactions--particularly if you know the person involved. And, in this forum, we've discussed many other news stories, on other legal issues, and voiced opinions on the people involved in those criminal acts, and discussed the laws they were charged with violating. None of this is new to A2K or unique to Thom's case.
I'm sure that all the publicity and available public information was distressing to Thom, on top of the stress created by the accident itself, his legal situation and expenses, and the dire consequences he had to deal with. But I don't think that anyone here should feel guilty about participating in this particular thread. No one posting here put Thom in the situation he found himself in, they simply offered comments about that situation, and a great many, if not most, of those comments, viewed this entire situation as a tragedy, and focused on it as a reminder for reasons to not drink and drive. And, if that helps someone else to avoid drinking and driving, perhaps some good can come out of this entire horrible ordeal that has cost two lives.
But I do not agree with you that people should now stop talking about Thom, or remembering him, or offering condolences to his family and friends, and using this thread for that purpose. Should they just pretend this turn of events hasn't happened, or that they don't have a reaction to it? I didn't even know the man and I am saddened by this tragic conclusion to his life, but I've also found that the comments being made, by those who did know him, help to flesh out and balance a fuller picture of him as a human being. And allowing those comments to be made is also a way of paying respect to him, so that those of us who didn't know him will remember something more about him than just his involvement in a tragic accident.
If you see comments that disturb you, just give those posts a thumbs down and they will collapse and disappear from your view. That's about your only control in this matter.