Riverside residents, Susan Yum and Spike Owen, lost their five-year-old son in a 2011 accident caused by distracted driving. They have challenged our community to support Jake’s Law. Reaching out for support, Susan wrote:
On December 28, 2011, our family was on our way to the mall to exchange some Christmas presents when we were struck from behind by a Jeep SUV going 62 miles per hour. The result was a shattered shoulder for my husband, a broken femur for my nine-year old daughter and the death of my five-year old son, Jake.
The driver was talking on his cell phone and did not notice for approximately 500 yards (length of five football fields) that the traffic in front of him had stopped due to a previous accident. According to a data retrieval device in his car, which downloads certain data the moment the airbag is deployed; he had not even applied his brakes when he hit us. After the trial, the driver was fined a mere $1,000 for killing a five-year old boy – he was found not guilty of criminal negligent manslaughter or of reckless driving.
Jake’s death was preventable. It was a clear sunny day and the message board on northbound 83 stated that there was an accident ahead, which alerted my husband and me that there would be traffic. We were stopped in traffic when suddenly struck from behind – this could’ve happened to any family.
Our family is in the process of forming a non-profit organization, whose mission is to prevent serious injuries and deaths caused by distracted driving. Below is a link to our first awareness and fundraising campaign – the Jake’s Law Zip Code Challenge.
This challenge is a battle between 21230 at 21201 to see which zip code can raise the most money in support of Jake’s Law. 100% of the proceeds go directly to building awareness and advocating for legislation to stop cell phone distracted driving. Click on this link and help us spread the message! www.JakesLaw.org