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John Raymond Barr
John R. Barr tragically lost his life in 2007, forever changing the lives of his wife, daughter and all others who knew and loved him.
On June 26th, 2007, at approximately 3 PM, John was on his way home from work to have a dinner date with his 3 year old daughter, in Dover, OH. He never made it. The car in front of him went left of center, hitting a dump truck hauling a flat bed trailer, knocking out the steering through the left front tire wheel well. Losing control of the steering, the truck veered into John's lane, hitting his car broadside, drivers side. The truck pushed John and his car into a field, until the truck stopped, resting on top of Johns car. The driver of the car that caused the accident was taken to a hospital, treated, and released the next day. The driver was a young man who never obtained his driver's license and had no insurance. He was driving with a fake I.D. he purchased from some local hang out.
In Ohio at the time, if you caused a fatality while driving without ever having obtained a license, it was considered a misdemeanor, with a MAXIMUM sentence of 6 months. The individual who took Johns' life received 6 months for the accident and 6 months for driving without a license. 3 of the months ran concurrent, for a total of 9 months served. To add insult to injury, we found out later this was not his first accident. He had a previous accident where he wrapped his own car (no one else was hurt in that accident) around a tree. He was released and no one found him to follow up, because he was driving on a fake ID then as well.
Johns' family was outraged that these things could happen, and felt victimized again by the system as though Johns' life and our loss was only worth 6 months of the offender's life. We worked hard and diligently with a lot of community support to make our law maker's listen to us. Finally, they did. A new law was enacted in January 2009 that allowed those who cause a fatality while driving without ever having obtained a license to be charged with a felony. John is missed greatly! However, it brings the family a small sense of satisfaction knowing another family will not have to go through the added misery of injustice on top of the pain of their loss! Please, we urge you, if you see an injustice, take action and be a part of the solution. Do not allow the politicians and courts to dictate the laws. They work for the people!