October 12, 2013

Joe Bell - died on a highway in Colorado while walking against bullying

Joe Bell
Joe Bell, age 48, of La Grande, Oregon, died on October 9, 2013, on a highway in Cheyenne County, Colorado.

He was walking on the highway when he was struck by a driver who reportedly fell asleep at the wheel. Joe died at the scene. The driver has been charged with careless driving, resulting in death, which is a misdemeanor.

Joe had left La Grande in the Spring intending to make a two year walk across the U.S.A. to raise awareness about the effects of bullying. He was talking to the media, church groups, youth groups and school groups as he walked.

Joe's son, Jadin Bell, age 15, had died on February 3, 2013, in Portland, Oregon. On January 19, 2013, Jadin had attempted to hang himself. He was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. He had little or no brain activity and he was removed from life support and tragically passed away.

Jadin was a sophomore at LaGrande High School. He was openly gay and was bullied
Jadin Bell
as a result of his openness. It was reported that he was bullied in person and on the Internet because of his sexual orientation.

In April of 2013, Joe Bell quit his job at a La Grande plywood plant and set out on his walk to bring awareness to the tragedy of bullying and to the tragedy of his son's death.

Joe was intending to walk from Oregon to New York City.

Joe had stated: "I don't want Jadin's death to be in vain. I want it to stand for something. I think we need to look at people for who they are and not who we think they should be."

The walk was tough for many reasons. He had artificial knees. He was sometimes 
cold, wet, miserable and discouraged.

Joe's last post on the Internet was: "Making headway, one step at a time."
Angels of God, pray for Joe
and for Jadin

A new-found friend stated: "Joe made a huge difference in everyone he met. He may not have reached his destination but I feel like he completed his mission. He did in fact make a change."

Joe is survived by many loving friends and relatives and many supporters of his cause.

Thank you for making a change, Joe.

Pray that Joe is in heaven with his son, Jadin. Pray that they are at peace and are with God. Amen. 

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