The SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) Delaware County Coalition held its annual remembrance ceremony for victims of traffic crashes Thursday.
Jackie Bain, a community health specialist at the Delaware General Health District and coordinator of the SAFE Delaware County Coalition, organized the event where wreaths are displayed by the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol on U.S. Route 23 to memorialize the 16 people who were killed in crashes this year.
Bain said the coalition’s goal is to reduce the lives lost in traffic crashes within the county and said Thursday’s event to remember those who have been lost is “central to that effort.”
The event is usually held one week later in November, but Bain said this year the event was moved up to coincide with the United Nations’ “World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2020,” which is Sunday.
“(We’re) proud to partner this year with the United Nations,” Bain said. “(Our) objectives to provide a platform for road traffic victims and their families to remember all people killed and seriously injured on the roads, acknowledge the crucial work of emergency services, advocate for better support for road traffic victims and victim’s families, and to promote evidence-based actions to prevent and eventually stop further road traffic deaths and injuries.”
Bain read the name of each person killed in a crash this year, and participants of the event pinned a name tag to each of the wreaths.
“Each victim was a part of a family, of a friendship, of a community and who is profoundly missed,” Bain said. “Our intent today is to call attention to the permanent grief and loss that each fatal crash causes … A traffic crash is one of the cruelest of deaths. It randomly, without justification, unexpectedly and with no apparent warning horrifically snatches bright beautiful promising lives from family and friends. It rips open the souls of those left behind.”
Bain said some members of the coalition have reached out to her in the past and told her the event makes them uncomfortable, which Bain said is a good thing.
“We are supposed to be uncomfortable with the tragedy of traffic deaths,” Bain said. “Let this discomfort fuel our desire to continue to work for safer roadways in Delaware County and everywhere.”
More information about the SAFE Delaware County Coalition can be found at https://delawarehealth.org/safe/.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.