Man On Awareness Walk Fatally Hit By Truck

Oct 11, 2013

An Oregon man walking across the country to raise awareness of bullying and suicide was fatally hit by a truck in Colorado Thursday.

Joseph Bell had walked to Colorado from his home in La Grande, after his 15 year-old son, Jadin, died by suicide in February. The boy had been bullied for being gay. The Colorado State Patrol says a semi-truck hit Joseph Bell on a rural stretch of Highway 40. Authorities say Bell was walking on the shoulder. They suspect the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel. In an interview with OPB's "Think Out Loud" last month, Bell said his walk was meant to help other young people.

Bell: "I know this is what Jadin would want. My son will not die in vain. I'm pouring out my heart in honor of my son, to do everything I can to help these kids."

Joe Bell's non-profit, Faces for Change, says it will continue its work, raising awareness of bullying and teen suicide. Colorado authorities say the driver of the semi-truck faces up to a year in jail for a charge of careless driving resulting in death.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting