Safer streetsHas a family ever done so much good for a community after a personal tragedy as Carmen and Bob Pack? After the heartbreak of their children's deaths in 2003, they began to campaign imaginatively and effectively for safer streets and for laws that mandate tougher monitoring of prescription drugs and punishment for hit-and-run drivers. Changes in legislation alone prove the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation has gotten results.
We all remember that balmy October evening when Troy, 10, and Alana, 7, were walking along Camino Tassajara with Carmen and a vehicle jumped the curb and fatally struck them. The driver, who was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, fled the scene; she was convicted in May 2005 of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
The Pack Foundation also began a traffic safety program called Street Smarts, along with the school district and the cities of Danville and San Ramon. In the poster contest that just ended, the children drew pictures of aliens practicing street smarts while visiting earth and it was edifying to see the green creatures properly outfitted with helmets and seatbelts.
The Pack Foundation also produced the about-to-be-released film, "Graduation Day," to drive home the message "don't drink and drive" that so many teens still seem to be missing. The foundation also awards scholarships based on academics, volunteerism and ideals related to drugs and alcohol.
Bob Pack has noted that great things are spearheaded by families with tragedies. This calls to mind the Lineweaver family of Alamo, who launched the Danny Foundation after their son strangled on the decorative post on his crib. The foundation disbanded in 2005 after 20 years of campaigning for crib safety brought the number of deaths from 100 per year to 16.
Those other 84 children owe their lives to Danny. We all owe our thanks to the Packs that our children are being raised with Street Smarts, and more impaired drivers are being kept off the roads.