A Grieving Mother's Heartbreaking Plea: Put Your Phones Down

"I've always known Jack was going to be successful, but I didn't know his greatest work was going to be done after his death."

What you need to know
  • 10 -year-old Jack Power was crossing the road with his sister and a friend when he was hit by a van
  • His parents turned off life support on Tuesday
  • Jack's mother has made a heartfelt plea to all drivers to "be more present" on the road

A mother whose son was killed after he walked across a pedestrian crossing says she's "trying to use the grief and the energy and to spin it around into something good."

10-year-old Jack Power died in hospital on Tuesday, three days after he was hit by a van in Melbourne's east.

Bonnie Power recalls the moment her world came crashing down.

"As I was coming closer I saw that it was Jack and my heart sank and I thought oh my God and I could see gashes and he was bleeding everywhere," she said.

Jack was with his six-year-old sister Stephanie and a 10-year-old friend when he was hit by the van as they crossed during a green signal. The other two girls were not injured.

Jack was crossing the road with his younger sister Stephanie when he was hit by the van. IMAGE: Supplied

Power said her daughter and friend quickly stepped back out of the van's path, but Jack didn't see it coming.

"She's [Stephanie] been crying saying I want Jack back, I want Jack back , where is Jack and I say I can't bring him back for you he's died," she cried.

A 45-year-old has been interviewed by police. He did not leave the scene after the accident, and the cause of the incident is still unclear.

"It doesn't matter if it was a phone, it doesn't matter whatever reason, he was distracted on the road. This is the calling now for all of us to be more present on the road and to know we are driving around in a vehicle that could possible kill someone."

On Tuesday, Jack’s parents made the painful decision to switch off his life support. Since then, Power has been campaigning for more awareness about the dangers of driver distraction. 
"I'm going to turn my heartbreak into something positive so we can do something about it. There is so much distraction on the road for whatever reason."

Road crash statistics suggest driver distraction accounts for at least 10 percent of fatal accidents. Another 18 percent of accidents where someone is seriously injury are attributed to drivers being distracted.

Jack with his mother Bonnie. IMAGE: Supplied

A U.S study found that a driver who is texting, is six times more likely to be involved in a collision.

A recent survey of 1,700 drivers conducted by comparison website finder.com.au found one quarter of Australians admit to using their phone whilst driving, 38 percent have eaten takeaway while behind the wheel and one in 20 have had a microsleep while driving.

Power believes "95 percent of people" are guilty of getting distracted or checking a text. 

"We just need to be thinking -- we don't want to be the person whose responsible for killing someone's son. Think about what's happened with Jack, it could be somebody else's child, it could be your child," she said.

Power said she will be meeting with state authorities and transport groups in a bid to push her message.

"I've always known Jack was going to be successful, but I didn't know his greatest work was going to be done after his death," said Power. 

Jack died exactly one month before his 11th birthday. A Facebook group has been set up in his honour In Memory Of Jack Power . 

Contact the author at alattouf@networkten.com.au

Featured Image:  Supplied