Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is with great sadness that we share the unfortunate news of Joe Bell’s untimely passing. Joe was hit and killed by a semi-tractor while walking eastbound on the shoulder of Highway 40 about 20 miles northwest of Kit Carson, Colorado. The collision happened around 5:10pm on October 9, 2013 during Joe’s nationwide walk from his hometown in La Grande, Oregon to New York City.
Joe was hit in a rural area of Cheyenne County while on his walk from Denver to Wichita, Kansas and was pronounced dead at the scene. He is survived by his wife, Lola, and by three other children; Amber Lynn, Dustin and Joseph. The 49-year-old semi driver was uninjured. Colorado State Patrol says the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel. He has been cited with careless driving resulting in death.
Joe’s Walk for Change, Joe’s family, and the organizations that supported him have come together to release this statement: “Joe’s purpose was clear from the moment he left his hometown on foot. He repeatedly said if he could help even one child, it would be worth it. He had a strong message and was making a global impact. We will remember him, his son Jadin, and the equality, anti-bullying and suicide prevention causes that were so dear to him. Please help us continue his fight by supporting www.FacesForChange.com, a non-profit set up in memory of Joe’s son.”
www.JoesWalkforChange.com and www.Facebook.com/joeswalkforchange will continue to provide updates and will remain as a memorial for this incredible man and his journey. Memorial donations to help Joe’s family can be made here or at www.FacesForChange.com.
Joe’s walk and his message were recently recognized in O, The Oprah Magazine as part of Oprah’s 2013 “50 Things That Will Make You Say ‘WOW!’” Listed18th, under the title, “One Step at a Time,” his cause was clearly gaining momentum.
In addition, several people have already contacted Joe’s Walk for Change about taking on segments and continuing Joe’s walk in his honor. Details will be posted as they become available. (Find Out More)
Joe walked from Oregon through Idaho, Utah and Colorado. Most recently he was in the Denver area where he spent several weeks speaking to various schools, groups and organizations and spreading his message of hope and change.
Joe’s immediate family is asking for privacy at this difficult time. Thank you for your continued support. As Joe signed one of his last e-mails…
“Yours for the Change, Joe”.