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


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)


Daniel Kelley, Senior Legislative Assistant to Representative Soliday

SB 151 Senate Bill Sponsor

Senator Timothy Skinner(D)

District #: 038 Staff Contact: Brent Stinson

Phone: 800-382-9467


200 W. Washington St

Indianapolis, IN 46204


HB 1095 House Bill Sponsor

Representative Clyde Kersey(D)

District #: 043 Staff Contact: Christina Cesnik

Phone: 800-382-9842


200 W. Washington St

Indianapolis, IN 46204


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

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