In January 2017, Kevin Herrera went out for his usual early morning walk with his dog, Ziggy. He was always careful when walking in the neighborhood, habitually leading Ziggy to the side of the road whenever a car passed. One morning, a person in a truck pulled out of a driveway, and Kevin stopped at the far side of the road to let it pass. However, the truck driver wasn’t paying attention and he veered off the road and struck Kevin as he was waiting and bending down to pet Ziggy on the head. The truck hit him so hard that he flew out of his shoes. Kevin suffered fractured ribs, chipped some of his teeth, and hurt his shoulder among other injuries. He was in immense pain, but he survived the incident. However, about a week later, he died due to complications from his injuries after developing pneumonia.
Kevin enjoyed life, radiated love, and made everyone around him laugh. “My dad was my hero,” his daughter, Kayla Green, recalled. “He was a family man; he did everything for us.” He worked at FMH Conveyors as the Director of Operations in Jonesboro; he had just started his job there in the fall. Kevin loved to garden, work on the house, and he had a passion for sculpting and collecting action figures (especially ones from The Matrix, Predator, Blade, and Hellboy). He loved watching action, horror, and sci-fi movies, and he got his daughters into playing video games when they were young. After deciding to go back to college, Kevin moved the family to Michigan to get his degree from Michigan Tech. His favorite place in the world was The Keweenaw.
Kayla had just gotten engaged to be married, and she had just started a new job with Google. Life was good, and she and her family had much to look forward to when this tragedy happened. “Every day, I wonder what life would have been like if the driver had just looked up from whatever he was doing, just one glance, to see my dad standing in front of his headlights,” Kayla said. “That one moment could have changed everything. Because of those mere seconds the driver took his eyes off the road, my dad didn’t get to walk me down the aisle.”
Due to the information on the police report, the driver of the truck went unpunished. “It’s something I’ve really struggled with since it happened,” Kayla said. Now, Kayla tells her father’s story to show how distracted driving can deeply impact peoples’ lives.