In Memoriam

Daryl Dorn - Brian Kronberger - Martin “Marty” Collo - Robert (Rob) Giddings - Ronnie Lynn Thompson

On late Friday afternoon, August 2, 2002, Daryl Dorn, a 46 year old man from Rochester, Washington, just a few days shy of his 47th birthday, was killed on the side of a freeway in the act of being a Good Samaritan by a fatigued driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

Daryl had stopped to help two stranded motorists on Interstate 5 near Castlerock, Washington. Daryl helped a woman and her young daughter change a flat tire on their horsetrailer, which was holding two horses at the time. The women told Daryl he was an angel sent from God. They said 50 cars must have gone by before he stopped. Daryl was glad to help.

After he fixed the tire, he got back in his Hyundai. The women that he stopped to help got back in their truck that was pulling the horsetrailer. Daryl was parked quite a distance behind the back of the horsetrailer. All the vehicles were at least eight feet off the freeway.

An 18 year old woman, and her 8-month old daughter, were taking a trip to Seattle from Susanville, California driving a Ford Econoline van. She had had her license only eight weeks. From the point they left their hometown in California to Washington state, she claims she had slept less than five hours in the previous 24 hour period. This "sleep" consisted of two separate naps in two separate towns in Oregon. Having just stopped in a nearby town and declaring to an individual that she was too tired to be driving, she got back behind the wheel of her van. She began driving again in the middle lane of the freeway. She fell asleep shortly thereafter.

Her van drifted from the middle lane at 70 miles an hour and struck the back of Daryl's small car, just as he sat down and buckled his seat belt. He did not have time to even shut his door. The van crushed Daryl's car 75 feet into the back of the horsetrailer and he was killed instantly. There were no skid marks. There is nothing in Washington state's Vehicular Homicide statute to support the prosecution of an individual who falls asleep at the wheel and kills another person.

The 18 year old driver did appear in Court in November 2002. Daryl's wife appeared in Court that day and pleaded for justice. Daryl's mother, sister and brother also pleaded for justice for the loss of their brother. The Judge sentenced her to 15 days in jail and 80 hours of community service. He awarded Daryl's wife $2,000 to help pay for funeral costs for her husband's death. The 18 year old, to her credit, stood before the Judge that day and faced the penalty placed before her. She was remorseful and apologized to the entire family. However, the fact that Washington state law does not specifically punish those who fall asleep at the wheel and take the life of another is incomprehensible and unacceptable.

Daryl was a wonderful man. Daryl and his wife were just married in January. They had so many hopes and desires for themselves and their future together. Daryl had an incredible relationship with God. He reached out to many people and gave unconditionally to family, friends, his church and community. He will always be loved and missed greatly.

Because of the 18 year old's irresponsibility as a driver and not heeding her body's and her own verbal warnings that she was too tired to be driving, she got behind the wheel of her vehicle and took Daryl's life. She also risked her life, her baby's life, and the lives of drivers around her.

The Vehicular Homicide statute needs to be changed to include an amendment for "sleeping-driver homicide." Such an amendment was introduced into Washington legislation in 1997-1998, but failed to move forward. Perhaps with a law in existence to enforce those who drive while knowingly fatigued, and with education and awareness programs, drivers who cause fatalities from falling asleep at the wheel will receive the same justice as those who drive intoxicated.


Also see Daryls' memorial page at DrowsyDriving.Org


On Saturday morning March 16, 2002, Brian Kronberger, a 16 year old boy and his friend were walking down the sidewalk in a school zone on Pecks Drive in Everett, Washington. A Volkswagon bus veered in and hit Brian from behind then veered out immediately and sped away from the scene. Brian was thrown 35 feet head first into a parked car. Brian was rushed to Harborview Hospital where his family was informed Brian would not survive his head injuries.

The driver and his passenger both claim they had fallen asleep. The driver admitted to staying up all night consuming alcoholic beverages. He still had a significant amount of alcohol in his blood but was no longer legally drunk at the time of the incident. Within just a few hours of killing Brian, the driver was a free man. No charges have been filed on the driver to this day, criminal or otherwise. Eight months after losing Brian, the family still deeply mourns, the driver carries on with his life.

The driver was uninsured and was in a borrowed vehicle also uninsured. He is a habitual traffic offender with numerous offenses. He repeatedly drives with no insurance, no valid drivers license, and had been charged previously with DUI, reckless driving, and speeding. Now he has killed someone due to his careless and negligent driving habits.

The law has clearly told this man that what he did is not a crime and he did nothing wrong. He is free to repeat himself with no punishment and no lesson learned. Driving on the sidewalk, killing a child, and leaving the scene is not a crime. This, despite the fact that the driver willingly got behind the wheel and drove knowing he was impaired by lack of sleep and alcohol consumption.

Brian was a bright, cheerful, and athletic boy who had many friends. He was respected by many adults as a kind and thoughtful child. Brian loved life and had dreams for his future. Dreams he will never have the chance to fulfill. His death has caused much pain and suffering for his family and friends. There is no peace to be found especially when the driver was never charged.

Brian’s life has been deemed insignificant and meaningless by our system of law. Brian deserves justice. The family needs justice so they can let Brian rest in peace.


Remembering Marty
by Gina Collo


January 31, 1956 - April 27, 2002


On April 27, 2002, in Southampton, New Jersey, my brother, Martin “Marty” Collo, age 46, was killed instantly, head-on, by a drowsy driver.

It was Saturday morning around 8:30, and my brother was riding his motorcycle on his way to visit our mother in New Jersey. He was doing what every good son does. Our father had just died and Marty was attending to our mother’s needs, mind you, not just this weekend, but every weekend.

Meanwhile, a young man who had been up all night at a prom party decided to get behind the wheel of his vehicle and drive home. This driver’s irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel of his car is incomprehensible. He fell asleep at the wheel and drifted into oncoming traffic, hitting my brother head-on.

He took my brother’s life and shattered the lives of all of Marty’s family members and friends.

Marty was such an incredible person. He was a professor of government and politics at Widener University in Pennsylvania. The faculty there and friends of Marty described him as a “man of honor, a scholar and friend.” Marty taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University and Lafayette College before joining Widener University in 1986.

We miss Marty's unique personality, smile, friendship, teaching ability and motivation.

I am so proud of my brother. I will never forget him and nor all that he accomplished in his life. I think of him every day, remembering the good times and trying to remember that he would want me to keep on going and to learn life’s lessons. I only wish that I could of given him one last hug and told him I loved him.


   On May 3, 2001, at 1:15 p.m. in the afternoon, my precious son, Robert (Rob) Giddings, was tragically taken from us by a driver who supposedly fell asleep at the wheel of his van. Rob was 28 years old.

As my son and a crew were working along Interstate 5, near Tacoma, WA, a driver of a van veered through two lanes of traffic before reaching the shoulder of the freeway. The driver then continued another eight feet down a slight incline where he hit and instantly killed my son. The force of the impact threw my son into and then over a chain link fence.

The 59-year-old driver and his 23-year-old passenger were both apparently asleep.

Motorists were well aware of the workers' presence, as all the appropriate signs were posted announcing their presence.

The only charges that could have been brought against the driver were negligent driving or failure to stay in one's lane. I was not notified as to whether or not the driver was ever charged with either of these violations.


This is certainly not justice! When you fall asleep at the wheel of your car (deadly weapon) and kill someone, I ask you, where's the responsibility?

Rob was a very loving father and son. His boys were his "Pride and Joy." He was taking medical college courses to become a pathologist and had a 3.8 grade average. He had a very good future ahead of him. My son left behind three beautiful little boys. Galen, now 11 years, Robert, now 6 years old and Reece, now 3 years old. What do you say to them when they constantly tell you that they miss their daddy and ask when they can go to heaven to see him? Their father's life was not meaningless to them and they too deserve justice.

As the law now stands in our state, you are only held criminally responsible for a death or injury to another person if you are found to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or road rage. A motor vehicle is a lethal weapon!! We should be held accountable for any and all actions that we take while behind the wheel.

We need enforceable laws regarding deaths resulting from drowsy driving and fall-asleep crashes. We also need education and awareness programs for the public and law enforcement officials. These things will help create a strong message of accountability for one's actions. Fatalfatigue is trying to accomplish just that.


 
My name is Lorri Henseler. My son Ronnie Lynn was killed by a drowsy driver in 1998. He was just 16. I have been working for the past 14 years to get anyone to listen to me and finally someone is. I live in the state of Utah and was contacted by the National Sleep Foundation. They asked if I would put my son's story on their web site, which I did. I was also contacted by ZeroFatalities.com (in Utah) and again they requested my son's story.  I also have a YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/drowsydriving001) and I made up a name: NODD ~ NO DROWSY DRIVING ~ . I also have got the Governor of Utah to sign a Declaration making the last week of September DROWSY DRIVING AWARENESS WEEK FOR THE STATE OF UTAH! I went to the Capital and the LT. Governor signed my declaration. You can view this on my Facebook page.

I have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NODD.No.Drowsy.Driving, "LIKE" us and post your name on our wall, taking the PLEDGE THAT YOU WON'T DRIVE DROWSY! Get your friend's & family to do the same!  Become aware of this silent danger on our highways!
 
I have done a PSA radio spot for the Utah dept of Highway safety on Drowsy Driving. (You can hear this when you view the video on YouTube Title: Drowsy Driving The Crash That Took Ronnie's Life. The PSA is at the beginning.)

I attend the Zero Fatalities Safety Summit here in Utah, and have talked to a group of young Civil Air Cadets.   I did get some drowsy driving information put into the UTAH driver’s handbook to get your drivers license. That is a step in the right direction! Please join us on Facebook we need your support!

Please Don't Drive Drowsy
Ronnie's Mom - Lorri
NODD ~ NO DROWSY DRIVING ~