Jeremy Todd “J.T.” was a happy and
vibrant 9-year-old boy who attended elementary school in Winnsboro, Texas. At school, J.T. – or “Bubba”
as his parents often called him – was a straight ‘A’ student who loved science and learning about animals,
especially butterflies and birds. J.T. also loved being outside and enjoyed playing
soccer and football. One day, he was going to play for the Texas Long Horns, he told
A Special Life Cut Short by Tragedy
dreams were cut short during a visit to see his grandparents in Newton County,
Texas. J.T. and his older sister went
for a ride in a 2007 Yamaha Rhino 450. While riding at a slow speed, the ATV suddenly
rolled over. Though young J.T. was wearing a safety belt, he was thrown from the Rhino
and then pinned beneath the half-ton vehicle as it rolled over.
J.T. to the emergency room of Jasper Memorial
Hospital in Jasper, Texas,
but he had sustained more substantial injuries than his young body could handle. On
June 22, 2007, J.T. Crow was pronounced dead.
to Legacy: The Mission of Bubba’s Angels
is survived by his parents, Jeremy Sr. and Heidi; his siblings, Madison and Kenny; his grandparents, Canter and Gabrielle
Mattox, James and Deborah Donnell, and Sherrie and Greg Crow; and his great grandparents, Bartine Donnell and Geraldine Crow. In his loving memory, they established Bubba’s Angels, the J.T. Crow Memorial Fund
to prevent this from happening to another child.
It is written, “He
who saves one life, saves the entire world.” Heidi Crow believes this means
it is her duty to help save others from a tragic fate like J.T.’s. Though it
is too late for J.T., by telling his story and sharing what the Crows have learned about the dangers of Yamaha Rhino and other
ATVs, they may save someone else’s child.
In August 2007, Yamaha Motors issued new safety doors
and handholds on the Rhino as a measure to prevent traumatic injury to limbs in the event of a rollover accident like J.T.’s. However, they have not recognized the fundamental design instability issues with the Yamaha
Rhino. Until they and other ATV makers recognize their responsibility for human life,
Heidi and the Crows will continue their work to get the message out, so that no one else faces the terrible loss they have.
"Because of this tragedy so many have been deeply affected
for the remainder of their lives. J.T. was a very smart and beautiful boy. He excelled
at academics and sports, but most special was his compassion for others and gift for making people feel important," said Heidi
Crow. His memory will go on, and his story will be told as long as it needs to be
told to save lives.
Did This Fatal Tragedy Happen to J.T.?
Crows have looked back on that fatal day and have tried to understand how this tragedy happened. They have learned the sad truth that they are not alone. Rhino drivers and riders all over the country have suffered serious injuries or even death, when their Yamaha Rhinos
rolled over. The Crows believe the Rhino is top-heavy, with too narrow a track
width, too high a center of gravity, wheels too small to maintain stability and steering geometry that facilitates rollovers
even at low-speeds in flat terrain.