The Northwest Region Coalition for Roadway Safety sponsored the St. Joseph Mustangs baseball team this season. The team is part of the MINK league and is made up of college players from around the country. This year had the largest attendance of any Mustangs season so far, and the NW Coalition had the opportunity to educate all the attendees about roadway safety. As part of the sponsorship, we were able to set up a table display at four games throughout the season. We chose to focus on a different aspect of traffic safety each game: seatbelt safety, distracted driving, impaired driving and child passenger safety.
At our most recent game we focused on child passenger safety. This was also the last game of the season and a sell-out crowd. A local crash survivor, eight year-old Kaleb, threw out the first pitch from his wheelchair. While he's beginning to walk a bit, the incident three years ago left him mostly in a wheelchair.
Kaleb, then five, was sleeping in the back seat, not in a child safety seat, when the car in which he was riding was involved in a crash. Ray Staggs, an emergency room trauma nurse who works on the NW Coalition, has stayed in contact with the family and was the one who contacted them to participate in Coalition events at the game. Kaleb's parents agreed right away, as they're always willing to talk about child passenger safety and the impact the crash had on their family's life.