By Frank Hinds, Executive Director
The mission of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance is to increase awareness about the tragic consequences of motor vehicle crashes and the devastating affects these crashes have on drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
We talk a lot about the innocent people who are killed by red light runners; however, tens of thousands of innocent people survive the horrific impact of intersection crashes, suffering permanent incapacitating injuries. These injuries often are life altering requiring prolonged medical care and rehabilitation.
Two such victims are Shaun Doss and Krystal Philippi, whose family members are part of the Red Means Stop team of volunteers helping to spread the message about the dangers of red light running. Both Shaun and Krystal are inspirational examples of life after tragedy.
Shaun Doss was an active, energetic four year old when he and his family were hit by a red light runner on May 15, 2007. The family van was t-boned by a driver who was texting and ran the red light. Shaun suffered head injuries, memory loss and a T-4 injury that paralyzed him from the chest down. He is now confined to a wheel chair. He has undergone physical therapy and stem cell procedures while regaining much of his enthusiasm for life and sports, including participating in hockey with the “Sled Wings” team. The lives of Shaun and his family will never be the same because of a distracted red light runner.
Krystal Philippi was a high school senior on her way to Prom on April 25, 1998, when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by a red light runner. Krystal was in a coma for several months, suffering a traumatic brain injury. Initially Krystal had to learn basic life skills all over again, like feeding herself and getting dressed, no longer able to enjoy the active life of a teenager, including cheer leading and dancing. Krystal’s new life includes living with the affects of her traumatic brain injury; however she and her family live life to the fullest. She graduated from Arizona State University and recently became a certified ballroom dance instructor. Krystal is engaged to be married on May 19, 2012.