Five- year- old Jake Owen of Baltimore was in the family car when it was struck in the rear by a driver traveling at 62 mph. The driver was distracted on his cell phone and never braked, causing a four car collision. Jake was killed in the crash. His nine- year- old sister, Alexandra, suffered a broken leg and his father, James Owen, required shoulder surgery. Jake’s mother, Susan Yum, was not injured.
A kindergartener at Federal Hill Prep in Baltimore MD, Jake played on the soccer team which his dad coached, played little league baseball and was a fixture at the Otterbein Swim Club. He enjoyed Ocean City Maryland and playing in Riverside Park, an expanse of green across the street from his rowhouse.
Jake was playing his new Mario Brothers game when tragedy struck. “The last thing he said to us was, ‘Mom, I have 43 lives,'” mother, Susan Yum said.
Jake’s parents, Owen and Yum, founded the nonprofit Change for Jake Foundation with Jake’s Law as its first initiative. Signed into law by Maryland’s governor in April 2014, Jake’s Law imposes a one-year jail term for drivers who cause a serious crash while using a handheld device. Jake’s mother, Susan Yum, is ramping up a public service campaign and hopes Maryland’s new law becomes a national model.