LGBTI global news 24-7

Dad walking across America for suicide gay teen killed in crash

Grieving father had been walking 5,000 miles across the US when he was hit by a driver believed to be asleep at the wheel
Joseph Bell, the father who was walking across America for his gay son who committed suicide, has died.

The father who was walking across America to raise awareness for his gay son who committed suicide has died.

Joe Bell, 48, from La Grande, Oregon was killed on his walk last night (9 October) when he was hit by a semi truck in eastern Colorado.

The walk across North America was in tribute to his gay 15-year-old son Jadin, who hanged himself in an elementary school playground in January.

The grieving father was walking eastbound on the shoulder of Highway 40, 20 miles northwest of Kit Carson, when he was hit at 5.10pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Driver Kenneth Raven, 49 of Bryan, Texas trucking company Farold Inc was uninjured.

Troopers are suggesting Raven may have fallen asleep at the wheel, and he has been cited with careless driving resulting in death.

On Joe’s Walk For Change’s official Facebook page, organizer Ann announced Bell’s passing.

‘I am very sad to have to announce that our friend Joe Bell was hit and struck by a semi while on his walk last night.

‘Thank you so much for all of your continued support, he loved everyone he came into contact with, and was so appreciative of all of your support.’

‘He will continue his journey now with Jadin,’ she added. ‘Please keep his family in your prayers and thoughts.’

On his walk, Bell had been speaking in schools and in other venues on the importance of dealing with homophobic bullying.

His walk started in April, with the aim of taking two years to walk 5,000 miles with the hopes of changing the world.

Comment on a news story