Jake Boysel’s Parents
Speak Out For Measure D
The transportation sales tax initiative
would provide $44 million for the county’s
Safe Route to School program.
By: Matt Cota
Monday, October 30, 2006
A Santa Barbara family, grieving over the loss of their 12-year-old son, speaks out in favor of a Santa Barbara County initiative.
Karen and Jim Boysel have so far been reluctant to speak about the investigation into the death of their son Jake. Today, one week before the election, they wanted their voices heard.
“I can’t put into words how devastating it was to lose Jake,” says Jake’s mother, Karen Boysel of Santa Barbara. “He was the kindest, smartest, funniest 12-year-old I know. And we are blessed to have had him in our lives.”
Karen and Jim Boysel’s son Jake died last month. He was riding his bike to school when he was hit from behind by a Ford Expedition.
Jake was in the bike lane, wearing his helmet, obeying the rules of the road. The driver says he never say him.
“We need more than just lines on a roadway to keep poor children safe,” say the Boysels.
The Boysels are urging Santa Barbara County voters to support Measure D. The transportation sales tax initiative would provide $44 million for the county’s Safe Route to School program.
“We didn’t do enough for Jake, but we have to do better,” says Karen. “This is our chance.”
The three-quarter cent sales tax in Measure D would raise $1.6 billion. The Safe Route to School program is less than 3% of the total. It isn’t exactly controversial. However, some of the other bigger ticket items in Measure D are — like freeway widening and commuter rail. While it’s expected to be a close vote, supporters hope the Boysels’ support will help it succeed at the ballot box.
The Boysels are now driving their older son to school.
While Karen Boysel supports Measure D, she also says a change in attitude and behavior is needed to protect bike riders like her son. Drivers need to share the road, drop their cell phones and slow down.
The man behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition that hit and killed Jake Boysel faces a misdemeanor manslaughter charge. Ernesto Botello is scheduled to enter a plea on November 13.