Alex Willis was the back seat passenger in a vehicle in Shelburne, MA when the young driver fell asleep at the wheel, causing the vehicle to veer off of the road, down an embankment, into a ditch, and back up the other side before rolling over two or three times, landing on its roof and killing Alex. The young driver had just returned from a flight and was suffering from jet lag at the time of the accident.
Alex had graduated from Haverford High School in PA as a National Merit Scholar finalist in 2009. At the time of the accident, he was about to enter his sophomore year at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he was a political science major, Latin American studies minor and an honors student. Alex enjoyed studying foreign languages and was proficient in Spanish and German.
Alex was passionate about social justice issues, particularly in Latin America. In addition to traveling to Germany and Mexico, he had traveled to Nicaragua during high school while participating in the Witness for Peace program, working at the grass roots level for social change. For his future, he wanted to continue to work for political and government reform, to come up with solutions for economic and ecological problems. He was a brilliant young man who was already making a difference in this world.
Alex was born to Robert and Nancy Willis of Havertown, PA and had a younger brother, Jonathan and sister, Rebecca. “I grieve for my son every day,” said Alex’s mother, Nancy. “There is a missing piece from our family that will never be replaced.”
Note: Please see our earlier post, Drowsy Driving: 1 in 25 Fall Asleep at the Wheel According to CDC Report