On May 12, 2005, my brother Joseph Battagliaage 42, died from head injuries sustained in an automobile accident while driving his pickup truck. Joseph was a tremendous manwho possessed an undeniable zest for life. He lived each day fully and made every moment count. Joseph’s love for life was immense. He never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone in need .
Sadly, Joe left behind his wife Patricia, their five children, Joseph, Jr.age 10, Antonioage 8, Angelinaage 7, Nicholasage 5, Anthonyage 4, our mother Dorothy Battaglia, our sister Diana Bechthold, our brother David Battaglia, two nieces, four nephews and me, Michael Battaglia.
Tragically, Joe was the 71st automobile fatality in Lee County Florida. Just as tragic, the other driver involved in the accident, also driving a pickup truck, was the 72nd automobile fatality. Eighty-eight percent of the 72 automobile fatalities in Lee County were not wearing seatbelts--including my brother. No one knows for sure if a seatbelt would have saved my brother’s life, but everyone that loved and cared for Joe will ponder that the rest of their lives.
It is my hope to try to turn this horrific tragedy into a cause that will educate the public on seatbelt use and safety.