Jimmy was born and raised in Las Vegas. He was an accomplished BMX bike racer, skateboarder and later, MVP basketball player. Jimmy passed away from injuries sustained as a pedestrian when he was struck by a minivan going approximately 45 mph on Flamingo Boulevard. His life was cut short needlessly because he thought it was safe to cross a major street outside of a crosswalk. One bad decision and he is never coming home again.
Before he left to go on his last errand, he was sure to tell me, "I love you, Mom," as he left. I remember being thankful he wasn't driving, as he had been in two car accidents that were both life-threatening. I never suspected that he would be injured as a pedestrian.
It strikes me now how many lives were changed by that decision. Obviously Jimmy paid the biggest price, but it has ripped our family to pieces and affected all of us in different ways. I, as a mother, have seen some very dark moments as I have tried to make sense of the senseless. The driver was a young father with children. He was traumatized by the accident, along with the witnesses who saw Jimmy being thrown 20 feet by the impact.
Many sleepless nights later, I realized that if I had a dream for Jimmy’s memory, it would be to have every driver drive like it was their child on the street in front of them, or their grandmother crossing slowly in the crosswalk. Drive like that, and it will save countless lives. Pedestrians need to make themselves seen and use crosswalks so drivers can expect them, and, when you become drivers, remember what it was like being a pedestrian and yield to them.