Man Walking Cross Country To Remember Bullied Son Is Killed

Since this past April, Joe Bell had been walking across the country to educate young people about the effects of bullying. His own openly gay son had been a victim bullying and hanged himself earlier this year. Tragically, just a few days ago, Bell was killed while on his nation-wide walk.

The Denver Post reports:


Joe Bell, 48, of La Grande, Ore., was walking on the eastbound shoulder of U.S. 40 in Cheyenne County, about 20 miles northwest of Kit Carson, when he was hit by a semi truck, said Trooper Josh Bell, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman.

Bell died at the scene about 5:10 p.m. Wednesday.

The driver of the truck, Kenneth Raven, 49, of Bryan, Texas, has been cited for careless driving resulting in death. He was not injured.

According to NBC News, Bell had planned to speak to a group of youths that evening.

Sheriff's deputies were scheduled to pick Bell up later in the evening to take him to The Methodist Church of Hugo, where he was supposed to speak to the youth group. We send prayers to his family and friends," the sheriff's office said Thursday in a statement on Facebook, adding that even though Bell had been in the county for just one day, he left an important impression "with everyone who has ever talked with him."

Bell began his walk in Oregon and planned to finish in New York City in 2015.

The Facebook page set up to track Bell's journey has now transformed into a memorial page. A post on the account asks for donations that would help cover the cost of his funeral.

A memorial service will take place at the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City at 6PM MST tonight.

In April, Bell shared his objective for the walk with KATU: "My goal is to get my son's word out there, his name, his experiences that he went through, just get our story out there. And for any young people that are having any trouble, we want to be able to share with them to hang in there. It will get better."

Watch that clip, AFTER THE JUMP.

Posted October 13, 2013 at 2:04pm ETC by Steve Pep
in bullying, Gay youth, News