Father Of Gay Teen Who Committed Suicide Dies In Cross-Country Walk Against Bullying

joe-bellA man walking across the country in honor of his bullied son who had committed suicide earlier this year was accidentally killed by a semi-truck in Colorado Wednesday evening.

15-year-old Jadin Bell from Le Grande, Oregon took his own life this February, yet another tragic teen victim of anti-gay bullying. However, out of that tragedy, Jadin’s father Joe started a journey to raise awareness and promote anti-bullying programs. “It will be a healing process for him,” said Bud Hill, co-founder of Joe’s Walk For Change.

But in a heartbreaking twist to the Bell family’s ordeal, Joe was hit by a semi-truck while walking on Highway 40 near the Town of Kit Carson. Bell was pronounced dead at the scene, reports KKTV. Troopers say the driver, 49-year-old Kenneth Raven, may have fallen asleep at the wheel and he has been cited with careless driving resulting in death.

Joe’s death was confirmed earlier today on his Walk for Change Facebook page:

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. I will update with info as it becomes available. He will continue his journey now with Jadin. Please keep his family in your prayers and thoughts.

Before his journey was cut short, Joe had hoped to be the first person to walk across the country with two artificial knees — he had undergone back surgery and double knee replacement surgery back in 2010. “They tell me, ‘You can’t do that,’” Bell said at the time. “I can only put it in God’s hands.”

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  • bledoutcolor

    My god. This has to be the saddest thing to ever happen. People need to learn how to drive dammit! When i first saw the headline i thought it may have been cardiac complications due to overexertion but this is just inexcusable, especially after the DADT activist was killed a few months back in an auto accident. But if anything good is to come ofthis at least father and son are with each other again. This is a real man, who literally died giving everything he had to his family. That kind of devotion is rare and I respect him tremendously. R.I.P Most fathers alive today could learn a thing or two from Mr. Bell.

  • bledoutcolor

    Also I hope the driver is prosecuted to the fullest extent he can be, although “Careless Driving” doesnt sound too promising a charge. If you get behind the wheel when you know you arent in a condition to be driving, bar having a medical condition you are unaware of such as narcolepsy, and kill someone it is manslaughter and your carelessness has cost a life. Falling asleep at the wheel isnt an excuse, his liscense should be revoked atthe very least.

  • loafersguy

    This is just so horribly sad.

  • Greg Garavani

    I read about this in the morning and was crushed, I feel for the family going through this, I can’t hold back tears when thinking about his story, rest in peace Joe Bell.

  • Ogre Magi

    I bet christians are going to call it a miracle

  • Mr. E. Jones


  • Charles175

    @Ogre Magi: @Red Meat: Yes you both are correct. People like Linda Harvey of missionamerica.com, Bryan Fischer, and the rest of their ilk will be praising God for his death.

  • Jerry12

    Two more people dead because of Bigotry. The ones who are to blame are the parents of the children that tormented Jadin Bell to death in the first place.

  • Jerry12

    @Red Meat: You might well be more correct than your comment might have intended. Both Father and Son had suffered far more than most of us at the hands of bigots, so God called them both early to be with him for ever. While the perpetrators will have to live tormented lives oh Earth and dwell in Hell for eternity after they die.

  • scott747

    How bloody fucking sad.

  • trelin

    This is incredibly sad.

  • Kangol

    This is heartbreakingly tragic. I really feel for this family.

  • pdxbda

    OMG! What about the mother/wife in this family? What overwhelming losses for her. There’s nothing that can console her except the love that binds her to her lost family. This is tragedy that no one should have to bear.

  • Geoff B

    @pdxbda: Exactly. My God, this family has had more heartbreak than any family should ever have to bear. For a man to try to turn a parent’s worst nightmare into something positive only to lose his own life is beyond comprehension. I know the mother has got to be in unimaginable pain right now and I only hope she can possibly take some comfort in the fact that God is taking good care of her son and husband til one day she can be reunited in Heaven. My heart is just broken for these people. I know there are a lot of posters who are athiests, and while I respect their views, for myself, I have to believe there is a higher power looking out for this family because if anyone needs it and deserves it, it’s them.

  • litper

    Christoterrorists must be happy now!

  • Sebizzar

    Wow. Unbelievable tragedy :'(
    R.I.P. to both. At least their spirits can be reunited again.

  • rod526

    There are no words that can express the sadness and anger that this story causes. I prayed for Jadin’s soul for months after his death. Now the family must face even more loss and sorrow. Even though Joe’s death was caused by a truck driver who, most likely, should not have been on the road at the time, his death is just another result of the initial bullying. I hope that Jadin’s and Joe’s “killers” deal with the results of their actions for the rest of their lives.

  • the other Greg

    There’s a war on pedestrians in the U.S. just as there is a war on bullied gay teenagers. Drivers often try to hit pedestrians (and bicyclists) on purpose and this guy might have done it on purpose too. It’s his word against, uh, no one’s, that he supposedly “fell asleep at the wheel.” Even if he did that in this case, if he’d hit a car or truck instead of a pedestrian there would be SERIOUS charges.

    Drivers who kill pedestrians are routinely given a minor charge like this one. Police and troopers are usually (fat) suburbanites with no personal experience of walking anyplace (even as kids, probably), to whom walking is an alien concept, and who always take the driver’s side.

    Even in NYC, where over half the population doesn’t own a car, drivers mow down pedestrians and the police invariably accept the lame “explanation” that the driver somehow accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake. Seriously, who does that? You’d need to have Alzheimer’s or significant brain damage to step on the gas instead of the brake.

  • EJC

    It would be wonderful it this cause was carried on by others, forget all the negative comments!
    Just remember what this wonderful Father was doing.
    It should not die, we need support from individuals like this. It is a cause worth moving froward.

    Hate is easy support support should be!

    Think about it!

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  • xamthor

    tragic. my condolences to the family.

  • Fikhe

    When tragic death happened, as Asian we start thinking of misfortune, bad luck, all the possibility and what if. Joe is an extraordinary father that some of us would never have to bear.

  • denx5

    His son was there to meet him with open arms

  • GayQT

    @bledoutcolor: If this man is found guilty of negligence, he will spend time behind bars. As a former truck driver, I can tell you that they are hard on drivers who injure or kill people with a truck (as they should be.)

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