Mom continues work to keep son's memory alive: Jamie Bratton killed in distracted driving crash

Elene Bratton warns others of distracted driving

SAN DIEGO - A City Heights boy would have been 18 years old next month, if not for a distracted driver.

Though it's been 12 years, every April, the pain keeps flooding back for Elene Bratton.

"Jamie would have been six years old May 24, but he was killed April 24," Bratton said of her son.

In 2002, Bratton's sister picked up Jaime from school and was involved in a crash after she reached for her cellphone.  

"Thinking of who he would be, that he would have been graduating high school by now and going to college, that's hard," Bratton said.

The anniversary is compounded not only by her son's death but it's also set aside as National Distracted Driving Month.

The statistics are telling, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Sanchez.

"You are more likely to be involved in a crash texting and driving than driving under the influence," Sanchez said.

Even talking on the phone with a Bluetooth device, Sanchez said, is equally distracting.

"I've been next to people for miles in a black and white cruiser and they haven't noticed me because they're so engaged in conversation," said Sanchez.

Bratton doesn't let the anniversary of her son's death go unnoticed, but on what would have been his birthday in May, she also makes a special point of doing community service and fundraising for children's organizations in an event called Jamie's Joy.

"In some ways it feels like Jamie has been gone for a million years but in some ways it also feels like it was just yesterday."

Learn more about Elene Bratton's organization http://www.jamiesjoy.org

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