DUI death shows need for role models, safe bike paths

On July 27, a 7-year-old Fresno boy died when a drunk driver hit him as he was riding his bike with his sister and dad. The driver was high school coach Loren LeBeau.

As high schoolers, bikers, student athletes, siblings, and victims of road violence, this tragedy resonated with us. It made us wonder who we can trust, if not our authority figures. Coaches and teachers are supposed to be role models. This story only makes us trust authority figures less, and makes us wonder how common drunken driving is among adults who lead us.

Others in our group feel that everyone makes mistakes, even authority figures, and sometimes these mistakes hurt other innocent people, like what happened on July 27. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes, but this doesn’t excuse these actions or make them any less tragic.

Most of us live in West Fresno, and this situation reminded us that safe biking and walking areas aren’t just needed here in our neighborhoods, where we often lack sidewalks or street lighting, but also in North Fresno areas as well. Some of us have been assaulted, and we’ve seen our friends get hit or injured by cars. Our city needs safe biking and walking paths. Sometimes, as we saw on July 27th, it’s a matter of life and death.
The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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