Owen Cole Brezitski, 8 – PA

Digital StillCameraOn March 17, 2011, 8-year-old Owen Cole Brezitski was killed by a 17-year-old distracted driver while walking in a crosswalk with his family in front of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, PA.  He had just attended a band concert for his sisters and to celebrate the evening’s event they were headed out to get Shamrock Shakes. The young driver said she never saw the Brezitski family or any of the other concert-goers in the crosswalk. She never braked, dragged Owen under her car and had to be alerted to stop by the yelling cries of bystanders. The driver’s phone records indicate that she was playing music from her phone into her car stereo at the time of the crash.

Digital StillCameraOwen was a member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, was a 2nd grade student at Holy Name of Jesus School, and a member of the Holy Name of Jesus Childrens’ Choir.

He loved to play football, soccer, baseball, and golf, and was a member of a PHR Baseball and a CASA soccer team.

Owen was a delightful, active, kind, and happy boy. He enjoyed playing with Legos, Matchbox cars, Nerf guns, army men, and Wii games. He loved being with his family and friends, and vacationing at the beach. He lived every day to the fullest. He had maturity, compassion, and wisdom beyond his years, always putting others first. He made his parents and sisters proud everyday with his actions and words, and helped make them better people. He was a blessed young man with a strong faith.

435_2010_017Owen is the son of Mark A. and Karen Faiola Brezitski and has two older sisters, Makenna and Kyla. Owen’s family established a foundation in memory of Owen, Orange4Owen.org, to promote traffic safety and to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Owen’s mother, Karen, speaks regularly at schools and elsewhere, sharing Owen’s story and spreading the Foundation’s safety message.

Owen's mother Karen (L) and Casey Feldman's mother, Dianne Anderson (EndDD) following a presentation at Bishop McDevitt H.S. in April, 2013
Owen’s mother Karen (L) and Casey Feldman’s mother, Dianne Anderson (EndDD) following a presentation at Bishop McDevitt H.S. in April, 2013