We are grateful that many of Jessie's friends report being safe drivers simply out of recognition of
the potential deadly consequences, and out of honor to Jess. Many friends and family
members have instituted greater controls over their teen's driving - thereby
reducing the risk of another family having to bury a child. Jessie's aunt wrote the
As I was working on some crafts today, I kept
thinking about you and Jessie and I realized that I should write and tell
you something. More times that I can tell you, Jessie has given me the
strength to keep the twins safe.
After her accident, when the boys were still about
10, I told them that they would not be allowed to drive with their friends
until after they graduate from high school. Although I said it many times,
it didn't really mean anything to them until their older friends became old
enough to get their learner's permit, and then their driving license.
The twins will be 18 in April, and for the past 3-4
years, Jessie gave me the strength to tell them, no they can't go somewhere
if Bryan or I can't drive them. She gave me the oomph to get up off the
couch and pick them up late at night when there was a change in plans and
they needed a ride home. She helped me not mind picking the twins up from a
school function when someone's Mom sent an older sibling to do the driving
instead of doing it herself when it was her turn to do the driving.
She sat beside me when I took the boys out to do
their practice driving for their learning permits. Little Bryan has saved
up $2000 towards a car, and I know she will be there again when I set up the
house rules for his driving, even when it is his own car. So many times it
would have been easier, not just physically, but "battle-wise" and
emotionally to have given in to them "just this one time" and let a friend
drive them home.
Each time, Jessie helped me do the right thing, and
it has paid off over and over again as the twins tell me about their friends
who totalled the family car, got in an accident with the new car their
parents just bought them, got stopped for speeding, etc. The twins have
always been up front about their friends foibles and weaknesses.
They always "gave it a try" but they have never
really given me a hard time about any of these restrictions, because in
their hearts, they also know that Jessie is looking out for them as well,
and the restrictions are just made out of love.
Anyway, the school year and their high school days
will soon done, but I truly believe that Jessie's influence has made a
serious difference in our family's safety and well being, and I just wanted
to tell you. I love you.
After Jessie's crash, the Murphy's were involved
with the Frederick County Highway Safety Task Force for several years.
On Wednesday, December 13, 2000, the Task Force held
it's fourth annual candlelight vigil for the families of victims of car crashes:
Click on picture to enlarge
An article on the task force from the Frederick News
Post on 9/28/2000:
Click on picture to
On December 4, 2002, the sixth annual candlelight vigil was
held to honor the victims of drunk driving crashes.
Click on picture to