Jamie Lynn Messer
It was November 10, a Saturday, and it started like every other Saturday.
However this was the Saturday that my youngest sister Jamie Lynn Messer,
age 12, would be fatally injured in an ATV accident. This was the Saturday
that would change our family forever.
It started earlier that week. Jamie asked my mother if she could stay
overnight Friday at her friend Shellsey's house. Shellsey lived a block
from our house; you could see her house from our back door.
My mother and my step-dad, Jamie’s dad, both had to work that
Saturday. My mom is an ICU nurse and would regularly work weekends.
Jamie's dad Ricky Kim worked at the local power plant and never worked
weekends. This was the first I could ever remember. I was 26, but living
in Miami at the time. And Jamie had spent the night at Shellsey’s
before. So my mom let her go, never knowing that was a decision that
she would regret for the rest of her life.
Jamie went to Shellsey’s right after school. She had strict instructions
not to go anywhere without getting permission first, which was a rule
Jamie knew well. Mom called her Friday night after she got home from
work. She asked what the plans were, and if was o.k. with Shellsey's
mom if Jamie stayed there until three, when her dad got off. Jamie said
that it was fine and that they were just going to hang out at the house.
What my mom didn't know was that, one, Shellsey's mom wasn't there,
only her step-dad. And that, two, the girls had made plans to go four-wheeling
with a couple of boys from school.
Jamie knew she was not allowed on a four-wheeler. She even told Shellsey
that it would be o.k. as long as her momma didn't find out. Jamie was
not a disobedient child. She was the sweetest child you could ever meet,
the helper, the good one. She always wanted others to be happy and got
upset if someone else's feelings got hurt. You could not meet her without
being touched by her remarkable heart and her smile. You could not know
her without liking her. One of the few times, she chose to rebel cost
That day the two girls woke up and went four-wheeling with three boys
they knew. One of the boys, Jeremy, was a kid that Jamie and our family
did not know but later found out had a reputation of being recklessly.
The kids started the day with two ATVs, one large on and one small one.
They went to the Jeremy’s house to get his families ATV, a large
adult size one. Jamie rode on that one with Jeremy driving.
They rode around our small town, even stopping for drinks at a local
convenience store. They then rode twelve miles away to the river. They
got stuck in mud and had to pull one of the ATVs out. It was getting
late and Jamie knew she needed to get back and clean up before her dad
got home so the group started home, which included driving on a country
A few minutes later, the ATV Jamie was on wrecked. It threw her on the
pavement and the ATV ran over her. The boy was also thrown, but walked
away with a collar bone injury. Jamie was lifeflighted to the hospital
and died the next day.
According to FHP, the boy was driving carelessly. We later found out
that this was at least the third ATV accident he has been in and his
parents continued to buy him new ATVs. However, because of state laws,
the only thing he was charged with was driving without a valid driver’s
Even after the accident, people around town have told us that they have
seen Jeremy riding ATVs. I don’t understand how parents can have
so little concern for both other people’s as well as their own
child’s safety to continue to permit him to be on and drive ATVs.
It adds to the senselessness.
Our family is beyond crushed. Jamie was our baby and we will never get
her back. We will forever live our lives with a whole in our heart.
My 15-year-old sister lost her confidant. My 4-year nephew doesn’t
understand why “Amie” is no longer here to play with him
on the hammock. My 1-year-old daughter will never remember her aunt,
the aunt who loved her so much and planned to make her a little beauty
queen like her. And my mom finds it hard to go on in this world without
her. Every event in our future will be tainted with sadness because
she is not here to share it.
We are angry ATVs are treated like toys. We are angry parents allow
their children to ride them, set them loose without supervision or thinking
about the consequences. We are angry the laws regulating them have no
teeth and therefore are not followed. We are trying to change that.
No family should have to bury their child, especially when it is so
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