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On May 18, 2008 our son, John Travis Gordon "Rusty," was killed by a texting driver in Marion County, Ohio. Since his death, I became a victim advocate hoping to make a difference in the lives of those who currently choose to engage in distracted driving. I do not want to see others endure the pain that my wife, Rusty’s family and friends, and I experience on a daily basis.  As a result "Rusty's Story" was created.

In 2011 I addressed the Ohio State Senate as a victim advocate, so they would understand the dangers of distracted 

driving and pass a Texting and Driving law for the State of Ohio.  That law passed in 2012.  To update and modernize the current law, a new bill was introduced to the Ohio Senate in 2020.  I returned to testify before the Ohio State Senate’s “Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee” on the new texting bill which would make Ohio “Hands-Free.”  I was also invited by Governor Mike DeWine to address the introduction for this proposed law at a press conference.


Rusty’s Story has recorded two videos for the United States Department of Transportation and for the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.  Both can be found on You-Tube and the Video tab above.


Formal Training:

1994    Technical Crash Investigators Course, Ohio State Highway Patrol

1997    Ohio Peace Officers Instructor Course, OPOTA

2012    United States Department of Transportation, Washington D.C.

2012    National Transportation Safety Board, Washington D.C.

2013    National Safety Council, Itasca, Illinois

To date, I have presented "Rusty's Story" to more than 34,000 people throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. I have also presented to:

2013-18   Teen Institute State Conference at Kenyon College and Heidelberg University

2013        Ohio State FCCLA Convention

2017        North Central Ohio mandatory training for School Bus Drivers

2018-19   Ohio BWC Safety Congress, Columbus, OH

2018        Ohio Attorney General Law Enforcement Conference


To learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, please schedule a "Rusty's Story" Distracted Driving Safety Program.  We have programs for schools, businesses, Chamber of Commerce Safety Councils, police departments, school bus drivers, and church groups.  Please click here to schedule a program.

John & Lois Gordon

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