We are grateful that many of Jessie's friends report being safe drivers simply out of recognition of the potential deadly consequences, and out of honor to Jess. Many friends and family members have instituted greater controls over their teen's driving - thereby reducing the risk of another family having to bury a child. Jessie's aunt wrote the following:
As I was working on some crafts today, I kept thinking about you and Jessie and I realized that I should write and tell you something. More times that I can tell you, Jessie has given me the strength to keep the twins safe.
After her accident, when the boys were still about 10, I told them that they would not be allowed to drive with their friends until after they graduate from high school. Although I said it many times, it didn't really mean anything to them until their older friends became old enough to get their learner's permit, and then their driving license.
The twins will be 18 in April, and for the past 3-4 years, Jessie gave me the strength to tell them, no they can't go somewhere if Bryan or I can't drive them. She gave me the oomph to get up off the couch and pick them up late at night when there was a change in plans and they needed a ride home. She helped me not mind picking the twins up from a school function when someone's Mom sent an older sibling to do the driving instead of doing it herself when it was her turn to do the driving.
She sat beside me when I took the boys out to do their practice driving for their learning permits. Little Bryan has saved up $2000 towards a car, and I know she will be there again when I set up the house rules for his driving, even when it is his own car. So many times it would have been easier, not just physically, but "battle-wise" and emotionally to have given in to them "just this one time" and let a friend drive them home.
Each time, Jessie helped me do the right thing, and it has paid off over and over again as the twins tell me about their friends who totalled the family car, got in an accident with the new car their parents just bought them, got stopped for speeding, etc. The twins have always been up front about their friends foibles and weaknesses.
They always "gave it a try" but they have never really given me a hard time about any of these restrictions, because in their hearts, they also know that Jessie is looking out for them as well, and the restrictions are just made out of love.
Anyway, the school year and their high school days will soon done, but I truly believe that Jessie's influence has made a serious difference in our family's safety and well being, and I just wanted to tell you. I love you.
Frederick County Highway Safety Task Force
After Jessie's crash, the Murphy's were involved with the Frederick County Highway Safety Task Force for several years.
On Wednesday, December 13, 2000, the Task Force held it's fourth annual candlelight vigil for the families of victims of car crashes.
An article on the task force from the Frederick News Post on 9/28/2000:
On December 4, 2002, the sixth annual candlelight vigil was held to honor the victims of drunk driving crashes.