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How Tragedies Inspire Citizens to Make a Difference

All of us have heard about devastating tragedies through the national news or word-of-mouth. Stories about young, innocent children who were killed by drunk or distracted drivers. In fact, distracted driving has become a national epidemic, killing more than 3,000 people in 2011 and injuring another 387,000.

The most prominent, recent story for most of us was young 21-year-old Casey Feldman, who was struck and killed in a crosswalk on her way to work by a distracted driver. Her parents, Joel and Dianne Anderson, made headlines as they refused to allow Casey to become another statistic and founded End Distracted Driving (EndDD) movement with the goal of preventing more senseless deaths.

Other well-known stories include Wendy Crossland’s 14-year-old daughter Anais died of cardiac arrest after drinking a popular energy drink. Aaron Holm lost both of his legs while trying to help a friend fix a flat tire on a busy highway. Michelle Garcia and Angie Firmalino suffer debilitating side effects from an FDA-approved birth control device.

Four stories, four terrible tragedies. But each demonstrates how injured people and their families turned grief and hardship into action.

Did You Know?

  • Energy drinks were cited as the primary cause for 20,783 emergency room visits in 2011, double the total reported in 2007. (More Emergency Room Visits Linked to Energy Drinks, The New York Times)
  • It is estimated that people talking on cell phones while driving are involved in 21 percent of all traffic crashes in the United States. (The Great Multitasking Lie, National Safety Council)
  • A 2008 Supreme Court ruling held that the makers of FDA-approved medical devices can’t be held responsible for injuries, even if their product is defective and later recalled. (Unequal Harm, American Association for Justice)

Read more about these exceptional parents and their stories in our latest email newsletter. And, if you’d like to subscribe to receive these monthly, we invite you to do so here.

Do you know someone who has made a difference after a tragedy struck his or her life? Please tell us about it.

Citizen Awards Survey

The Justice Served Awards celebrate exceptional people working to protect the health, safety and legal rights of others. Which story touches you? Take the survey and let them know.