HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family dedicated to saving children’s lives marked an agonizing anniversary this weekend, a quarter century after their loved one was killed while on his way to school.
It has been 25 years, but Deborah Brown has just recently been able to come near Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Fourth Avenue. “For a long time, I was not able to ride this part of the street,” she said. “I used to turn before I get to this area and go down a back street and then come up on the next side.”
That was all in an effort to avoid the spot where she lost her oldest son.
Seven-year old Ramon Turnquest was excited and ready for his first day of second grade when he was hit crossing the street.
Brown said remembers the crossing guard waving them across and a driver blowing through the red light. Her other children often think about that day and what came next.
“We missed so many first days of school because she was so traumatized,” said Destiney Dobard, Ramon’s sister.
Quinn Turnquest, Ramon’s brother, was 5 years old at the time of the accident. He said he and was walking with his older brother and mother when it happened. “I still kind of remember seeing the vehicle come from that direction down the street,” he said. “I remember the step. I remember everything vividly right here.”
He remembers Ramon as a good kid who loved church.
A celebration of Ramon’s life was held Saturday morning, including a rendition of his favorite song.
The day wasn’t only about remembering his life, but also how that life has changed and saved others. “I say his death was not in vain. It was a tragedy,” said Dorothy Bolt, Ramon’s grandmother.
Just a year after his death, the state passed the Ramon Turnquest Crossing Guard Act, which has led to standardized training for crossing guards and more. “They have lights put out. They have different organizations that have been formed since his death,” said Brown.
The grieving mother said her main focus is on the children, providing them with information that will keep them safe so a preventable accident like this won’t happen again. “He’s an angel,” she said. “I still believe he’s still here, you know?”
On the exact anniversary date, Aug. 26, Ramon’s family plans a balloon release at Ramon’s grave site.
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