More To Come!

We would be more than happy to "Face the Nation" to bring about
more awareness. We, along with others, want to move from just state laws to nation wide.

      Allow me to begin by introducing my wife and myself; my name is ******* ********** and my wife is Robin **********.  The night of May 20, 2004 we received a call informing us that our son, ******* **********, Jr. had been in an accident along with five of his friends.  They were returning home from the Class 4A state baseball championship game, which was held in Lafayette.  Upon receiving the call from one of the kids’ father my wife and I left for the Lady of The Lake Hospital.  I will say that we did not automatically think the worst.  The children began arriving via ambulance and air-med.  Our son was not among them.  After hours of asking questions it became painfully obvious, our son would not be coming back to us.  Why? All because a towed vehicle broke free, crossed the median, and struck the truck our son was a passenger in.

    The accident happened at mile marker 138.6 of the east bound lane of Interstate 10 in Iberville Parish.  The coupling on the tow bar on the towed vehicle came off of the ball.  The “safety” chains broke allowing this terrible chain of events to take place.  The towed vehicle actually struck the towing vehicle, and then crossed the median.  As this took place around 10PM and the vehicle had no lights, our children had indication that a vehicle was heading toward them. They had no chance.  The truck our son was riding in broadsided the run-away vehicle.  Even though all of the occupants in our son’s vehicle had their seatbelts on; all required medical attention, hospital stays and/or extensive surgery, except for the driver and our son, Stephen.  Thank God all are doing well today.

    We recollect the memory of that night when any of us pass a vehicle on the road with a vehicle haphazardly in tow. What has moved us into action was a news piece on the Graco side drop baby cribs being, not only recalled but taken off the market but banned as well. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued this remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact LaJobi to receive a free hardware retrofit kit that will immobilize the drop side. CPSC urges parents and caregivers to find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. To prevent further child deaths and injuries, Senator Gillibrand is introducing federal legislation that would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or re-sell any and all drop-side cribs. Gillibrand's legislation would also ban drop-side cribs from public facilities including day care centers and hotels and toughen enforcement, giving CPSC the authority to levy civil or criminal penalties on suppliers or venders that knowingly sell or re-sell banned drop-side cribs. This action was taken because of an average of 3.2 deaths per year since 2000 nationwide, and rightly so. But, if the number of deaths is what moves one into action ponder this. Since 1975 an average of 8.6 deaths per year occurred due to faulty towing apparatus just in the state of Louisiana. We cannot help but wonder if this type of action had been taken earlier to recall faulty apparatus, educate through public service announcements, and/or a ban on these products with a recommendation to find an alternative safe way to tow, that the average of deaths per year would have dropped dramatically. We are not disillusioned that somehow our son’s life could have been spared. We are asking you, as law makers, to not be disillusioned either. We cannot look back, except to learn from the past. Our hope lies only in what we have learned and how we use it to make a difference for the future. You can make a difference.

    We have 5 other children who travel our state highways. We thought what happened to Stephen was one of those “one in a million chances”. What we have come to understand is that, the odds of this happening to anyone, is greater than we thought. 

    We want to join you, in anyway that we can, in making a difference. We will do our P.A.R.T. (Parents Against Reckless Towing). Our son is honored every year with a baseball tournament in his memory; the ******* ********** Memorial Tournament sponsored by East Ascension High School. Many have died, all over the country, due to dangerous towing. Please know that what ever you can do through legislation that can bring awareness, knowledge and accountability when it comes to towing safely will bring honor to all who have died.


    ******* & Robin **********

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