Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Heavenlee!

It's been a while since our last post due to the ebb and tide of how working against a moronic Indiana General Assembly flows. Looking at the calender, we were stunned to realize how quickly a year has passed since Heavenlee's passing. That day is tomorrow, but today was Heavenlee's birthday.


She would have been 9 years old today were it not for the neglect demonstrated by those who were entrusted to insure her safety. They failed and she suffered for 4 years before succumbing to the effects of her injuries.

We think of her every day and hope to insure that someday, justice will prevail on her behalf.

We love you Heavenlee and we shall never forget!

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, January 25, 2013

How does Rep. Soliday and Sen. Young sleep at night?

Despite efforts we have made to encourage legislators to take a look at our efforts to protect children from neglect in automobiles, we have been met with silence and ignorance!

Apparently, our lawmakers here in Indiana have some strange agenda which precludes protecting chidren lives. In particular, we're speaking of Rep. Ed Soliday and Sen. R. Michael Young, both of whom have the power to assign our bills into committee hearings, yet refuse to do so.

In case you're wondering what we are talking about, here are the links to the two bills we are supporting, niether of which has even made it into committe hearings, despite 3 years of trying.

SB151

HB1095

It makes one wonder what Rep. Ed Soliday and Sen. R. Michael Young have against children? Would they prefer that people who fail to secure children in the proper child safety seat, then injure or kill those very children in a car crash are only charged $25.00 for the crime? As it stands now, that's how Indiana law treats neglect within the automobile.

Perhaps if it were their own child, or even grandchild, they might be more inclined to act on behalf of protecting children. Since it is not their own families, they have choosen to ignore our efforts and continue to place the lives of Hoosier children in peril.

How do they sleep at night?

James C. Wallace II

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Children's Lives Are Still At Risk!

So Representative Soliday, I’ll bet you thought I went away, didn’t you? Sadly, your lack of action demands I return to the fray and point out what a coward you are.


I thought I should re-examine your last email and sort through the nonsense for something a little less nonsensical regarding your refusal to even consider HB1095 and its ramifications. The following is another example of your odd perspective regarding the lives of children.
“Because HB 1095 changes the sentencing of this type of offense, it would be inconsistent to pass a bill of this nature.”
How does drafting legislation that serves to strengthen and upgrade sentencing when children’s lives are injured or even killed through neglect in an automobile constitute “inconsistent”?
Does that not disturb you as much as it disturbs me?
Your failure to act on behalf of HB1095 and give it a fair hearing calls into question your integrity and service to Indiana, in my own opinion, not that it matters much to you…

Per Ardua Ad Alta!

James C. Wallace II

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Shame on you, Representative Ed Soliday!

Shame on you, Representative Ed Soliday of Valparaiso, Indiana! I call you out for failing your constituents and the safety of their children and grandchildren!


3 years in a row now, we have approached the Indiana General Assembly with proposed bills providing for stiffer penalties when children are injured or killed when not properly secured in a required child safety seat within the automobile. Currently, the penalty stands at $25.00… for the life of a child! Does that not bother you?

HB1095 awaits assignment to committee hearings in the Roads & Transportation Committee for the third year in a row and by way of conversation with your staff and your email response, it is clear that HB1095 will not be considered once again. Despite the double-speak and nonsense of most of your response, I was able to glean a single sentence that, quite frankly, frightens me!

“I t does not seem to be the appropriate year for this type of legislation because we are looking at broad based reform.”


I’m curious about something and perhaps you might man up and answer, though I have my doubts.

When this bill came around in 2011, why wasn’t that the year to consider legislation that would hold drivers of automobiles accountable for children in their care to insure those innocent children are properly secured in the correct child safety seat and avoid injury or even death in the event of an accident?

How about last year (2012)? Why wasn’t that year appropriate for even considering the safety and security of our children… you know, the ones who are children of the people that voted for you?

Why not 2013, especially if our children and grandchildren mean so much to us?

What if it were your child or grandchild who suffered because they were injured or killed and the driver responsible was only charged $25.00? Hmm?

If it were your family, I’m certain you’d be all over it… but then again, your children are far more important than your fellow Hoosiers, aren’t they?



James C. Wallace II

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Justice for Heavenlee!!!



On Sunday night, Dec. 13, 2009 at about 9:13 p.m, our granddaughter Heavenlee-Angel Johns was critically injured in an auto crash. She recuperated at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, where she recieved the finest care this nation has to offer.


She was permanently paralyzed as a result of the accident, which was compounded by the fact that, according to Indiana State Police reports, she was not secured in a proper child seat and was restrained only by a factory-installed lap belt.

The following story tells it better than we can:


Before this event, Heavenlee looked like this:



This photo was taken the day before Heavenlee was injured. She's the little 'hoot owl' in purple right next to me. The young lady standing next to me is our daughter, Jamie Johns, whose love for her four children, 3 of whom are pictured here, has been unwavering and unconditional.

The following pictures show Heavenlee's condition on Christmas day, 2009.



For nearly 3 years, Heavenlee fought a very valient struggle to overcome her injuries; but alas, on Thanksgiving Day, 2012, the day following her 8th birthday, Heavenlee-Angel Skie Johns succumb to complications associated with her injuries from not being properly restrained and passed away peacefully at 1:07am at Riley Children's Hospital, where she been recieiving the finest care possible on this planet.

Now for the part that should enrage every parent and grandparent reading this:

Indiana State Police report confirms that the driver failed to secure Heavenlee in a child safety seat, as required by Indiana law: IC 9-19-11-2.

Sadly though, this provision provides for only a Class D Traffic Violation with a $25.00 fine. (see link below).

IC 9-19-11-2


We recall with horror the debacle of Judge Barbara Brugnaux and her treatment of Courtenay Scott, who spent no time in prison for the reckless homicide death of 2-year-old Alexis Williams. Scott was sentenced to two years probation for the class-C felony she committed May 22, 2002.

It would seem we were wrong in our assumption that the law would prevail in this matter. After meeting with the Vigo county prosecutors office, we were informed that the law does not provide for anything more than a Class D citation and a fine (See below).

IC 34-28-5-4

Maximum judgments

Sec. 4. (a) A judgment of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class A infraction.

(b) A judgment of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class B infraction.

(c) A judgment of up to five hundred dollars ($500) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class C infraction.

(d) A judgment of up to twenty-five dollars ($25) may be entered for a violation constituting a Class D infraction.

(e) Subject to section 1(i) of this chapter, a judgment:

(1) up to the amount requested in the complaint; and

(2) not exceeding any limitation under IC 36-1-3-8;

may be entered for an ordinance violation.

As added by P.L.1-1998, SEC.24. Amended by P.L.200-2005, SEC.2; P.L.101-2009, SEC.18.

Apparently, Heavenlee's life is only worth $25.00 to the state of Indiana. It's comforting to know the state places such a high dollar value for the life of our children.


We harbor no anger towards the local law enforcement agencies with which we have had contact with to date. They are only enforcing the laws as written. Our anger is directed towards the state legislature who enacted impotent laws which fail to protect our children from negligent drivers.

This situation now provides the citizens of Vigo County and the State of Indiana the chance to remind those within the law community that we remember well and will not forget those who have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers.

Please join us in insuring justice is served for even the most innocent of our own.


Our goal now is to enact new legislation which will ensure that child safety seat laws are strengthened and that mandatory jail terms apply when injuries and/or death occur as a result of failure by negligent drivers to secure children in the appropriate and/or mandated restraint.

This is our 3rd year at attempting to, at the very least, get our proposed legislation into committee hearing so that the merits of our legislation can face a fair, honest and vigourous debate. To date, the Republican leadership has fialed to act on our proposed legislation, preferring to play politics with the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Currently, SB 151 and HB 1095 are resolutions now pending on the floor of the Indiana General Assembly awaiting assignment to committee hearings.

We ask that you please contact the following state senators and representatives and convey to them your opinion about getting these bills into committee hearings on our 3rd attempt.

After all, aren't your children and grandchildren worth more than $25.00???

The following legislator is the Chairman of the Corrections & Criminal Law Committee and is responsible for assigning SB 151 into committeee hearings in the Senate.

Senator R. Michael Young
District #: 035
Phone: 800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400
Address: 200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: s35@iga.in.gov

The following legislator is the Chairman of the Roads & Transportation Committee and is responisble for assigning HB 1095 into committee hearings in the House.

Representative Ed Soliday
District #: 04
Phone: 800-382-9841 (State House)

Email: h4@iga.in.gov

Daniel Kelley, Senior Legislative Assistant to Representative Soliday
317-232-9603
dkelley@iga.in.gov       



SB 151 Senate Bill Sponsor

Senator Timothy Skinner(D)

District #: 038 Staff Contact: Brent Stinson

Phone: 800-382-9467

Address:

200 W. Washington St

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: s38@iga.in.gov


HB 1095 House Bill Sponsor


Representative Clyde Kersey(D)

District #: 043 Staff Contact: Christina Cesnik

Phone: 800-382-9842

Address:

200 W. Washington St

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: h43@in.gov



Please refer to this specific website when addressing your concerns to them. We will be in constant contact with them as this process moves forward.

Thank you and God bless each of you for your assistance, concerns and prayers for our granddaughter Heavenlee-Angel Skie Johns.



James & Amanda Wallace

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

HB 1095 is now submitted!

As promised, Rep. Klyde Kersey of the Indiana House has submitted a similar bill to SB 151 that covers the aspects we are looking for in Heavenlee's Law. It is designated HB 1095, though it is not yet posted online. We will advise and update when it becomes viewable on the Internet Machine.

James C. Wallace II

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Minor Correction

It seems that in my zeal to provide information about our efforts to introduce legislation regarding child safety seats for automobiles, I assumed that SB 213 was the designation for this year's bill in the Indiana Senate. Turns out I'm wrong as it is now designated SB 151.

The link for this legislation can be found at the Indiana Legislative Services Agency's bill page:

SB 151

It is identical to SB 213, but being that this is a new legislative session, it would appear that a new number is in order. Who knows why?

I expect this week to report that Rep. Kersey of the Indiana House will also be submitting identical legislation on his end as well.

Till then...

James C. Wallace II