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.
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