Joe Teater was riding to an after school activity with his mom when their car was hit by a young woman driving an SUV who ran a red light. The young driver was talking on a cell phone at the time of the crash. Joe’s mom had only minor injuries, but Joe was seated in the front passenger seat and took the brunt of the impact. He died the following day in the hospital. He was just 12 years old.
From Michigan, Joe was the youngest of 3 boys and in the 7th grade at Forest Hills Middle School in Grand Rapids. He liked sports and video games and was active in his church youth group. He has been described as just a fun young man.
Joe’s parents, David and Judy Teater, have devoted themselves to safety on the road, pushing for improved education, legislation and technology, particularly regarding cell phones and driving. They have testified before legislators, Judy is a founding board member of FocusDriven and David is a frequent speaker on the topic of distracted driving. Beginning in 2009, David also worked with the National Safety Council leading their distracted driving initiatives for over 6 years.
View the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s “Faces of Distracted Driving” video about Joe here: