Greenwood, Indiana, family fighting against distracted driving
GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Jordan and Brooke Scherer started the Living for Logan Foundation to fight for justice and stronger consequences for distracted driving after their 9-year-old son Logan was killed in a 2016 crash.
News 8 first reported in April that the foundation helps to educate people about distracted driving and is pushing for state legislators to toughen hands-free laws. The Scherers said their passion for their mission has grown even stronger since the birth of their daughter Mila-Grace Scherer in August.
Father Jordan Scherer said, “We kind of look at Mila as a rainbow baby, sort of cues from her big brother in his passing and being on the other side that there was supposed to be a third for our family.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported Logan died, authorities said, when Gregory Andriotis slammed into the back of the family’s Mazda SUV while driving more than 100 mph in September 2016 on Interstate 75 north of Tampa, Florida. Logan’s father, mother and 5-year-old sister were hospitalized after the crash.
Andriotis is set for a jury trial on Jan. 9, according to online court records from Hernando County, Florida.
“The cellphone was being used consistently in the car of the man who hit us from the time he left his destination to when he hit us just before 3:30 in the afternoon,” Brooke said.
The Scherers started the foundation after the crash.
Brooke said, “States are starting to pass really good hands-free laws, but until everybody’s on board with that there’s not a lot of strict punishment that can happen in the court system,”
The foundation partnered with Hillsborough County Schools in Tampa to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving. It’s one of the nation’s largest school districts and where Logan attended school. The Scherer hope to expand the program in schools nationwide.
“It’s an A-to-B thing, and we don’t need to be buried in our technology while we’re doing it,” Jordan said. “We’re just trying to get people to recognize the responsibility that we have when we’re behind the wheel.”
Living for Logan is seeking community partnerships to end distracted driving. Interested partners are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The name of the foundation has been corrected in this version of the story.
WABASH, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana woman has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty related to the death of her son who was delivered in a dorm room bathtub.
The Wabash Plain Dealer reports 24-year-old Mikayla Munn of Elkhart was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison, with three years suspended to formal probation. She pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent in the death as she was awaiting a murder trial.
Her lawyer has said Munn accepts responsibility for her actions.
The former Manchester University student gave birth in the bathtub of her dorm room in March 2016. Police have said first responders who were called to Munn’s room found her and the infant in the bathtub, and the child was not breathing. The death was ruled a homicide.
Information from: Wabash Plain Dealer, http://www.wabashplaindealer.com
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More and more Indiana women are dying from pregnancy-related issues.
State lawmakers are trying to figure out why.
Angela Lyttle, a certified nurse midwife and a co-owner of Sacred Roots Midwifery and Birth Center, said Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is double the national average.
Sacred Roots personnel stressed it is important that women visit a care provider when they begin thinking about getting pregnant so they are healthy from the start.
“Are there heart issues that are causing a problem? Diabetes? Just other health issues that we have as a population that certainly play a role in maternal care?” Lyttle asked.
“Most recently, the data I’ve seen is from 2011, our current maternal mortality rate is 51.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 women.”
Keristal Hansell, a prenatal clinical nurse specialist at the birth center, said, “Death has always been a potential outcome of childbirth, but it’s very rare, even in places where the rate is higher.”
Indiana’s maternal mortality rate was why Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill into law in recent weeks. The law takes effect July 1 and mandates the state create a maternal mortality review committee that lasts until 2023.
Hansell said that the new law “allows a group of well-educated people, who this is their business, it’s everything we do and know, to come together, review those cases together in a very nonpunitive way to say, ‘What can we all do to make it better?'”
State Sen. Jean Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg, authored the legislation.
“It’s an important issue,” Leising said Wednesday. “It’s a shocking issue that Indiana’s statistics are as bad as they are. I think we’re on the right track to trying to figure out why.”
She added, “That’s the purpose of the bill. Hopefully, we can get enough information over the next five years.”
Leising said she also hopes health care providers will be helped by the new law. The new law sets up an immunity for the agencies reporting deaths to the committee.
“To give doctors and hospitals, to give the opportunity to speak freely about what they think happened when they have a bad outcome,” Leising said.
The committee will review cases, create a prevention strategy and work to figure root causes of pregnancy-related deaths.
Sarah Cline understands. She gave birth to a healthy boy in January, but there were bits of fear with her daughter’s birth two years ago.
“When my daughter was born, I had severe pre-eclampsia,” a pregnancy complication that can cause high blood pressure and damage to the liver, kidneys or other organs, Cline said. “There were certainly risks because it came on all of a sudden. I had a little bit of fear with her, of what that looked like. I was fortunate to have great care.”
The new mother and the Sacred Roots center’s owners said they believe the new law will help women across Indiana.
Cline said, “I think this new law could help calm fears. I think it’s Indiana showing we care.”
List of pregnancy resources
- Indiana Medicaid information
- Indiana Family and Social Services
- Indiana government benefits
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services women’s health
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention newborn screening portal
- U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration
- U.S. Department of Agriculture pregnancy nutrition site