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A Heartbroken Mother Changes The Rules

SS Member Image By drodriguez 06.09.09
A Heartbroken Mother Changes The Rules
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Hearing that a loved one has been injured or killed is the most devastating news a person can ever receive.  One woman, Carmela Wiant, from Ohio has worked hard to make sure parents don’t have to suffer through the same experience she had when she received news of her son’s, David Christopher Money’s, death. 

According to Wiant’s website, David Money passed away after getting into a car accident from hydroplaning.  The Chaplain informed Wiant over the phone of her son’s death.  As traumatic as this information can be, Wiant thought there should be another, more humane, way of communicating this information to parents.  She wanted a chance to say goodbye or be with her son before he died.

A few months after her son’s death, Wiant started lobbying for a bill so that people could be informed of a loved one’s death in the proper way.  The Money-Burge Act (also known as “Next Of Kin” Bill), in memory of David Money and Steve Burge, allows people to add an emergency contact’s information right onto their driver’s license.  This addition to the license allows the first responders on the scene of an accident to contact the next of kin so they can be with the accident victim a lot sooner.

Wiant describes what she went through while lobbying for the bill on her website.  She wrote, “The process of doing this Bill sometimes was very emotional, very stressful and sometimes I just wanted to quit, but every time I would look at my Son’s picture I would say ?What if the tables were turned and they told him this way’?”

What do you think of the Money-Burge Act put in place by Carmela Wiant?

Do you think other states should follow Ohio’s lead and pass bills similar to this one?


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  • thebutlerdidit By thebutlerdidit

    It's an idea that came from a bad experience, but I see so many problems with this bill. We are just way too mobile. A contact number today will be a number that we've abandoned in favor of a cell phone number tomorrow. Incorrect and outdated contact information will cause so many headaches for emergency workers. I feel for Carmela and her experience, but I don't see this bill as making a huge difference.

  • emac79 By emac79

    I understand the reasons behind Wiant's bill, but I agree that it would cause too many headaches. First of all, the first responders on the scene are there to save a life, not contact next of kin. Secondly, next of kin should not be contacted until the outcome is clear. I am sure emergency workers do not need horrified spouses and parents screaming at them from the sidelines as they try their best to save a life. I do agree that information like that should not be shared over the phone, but I believe not all police departments do that. I think Waint's case is more of an exception than the general rule. An easy way around this without having to change the law is deciding as a family to use the ICE system. In your cell phone, save your 1st emergency contact number under ICE (In Case of Emergency). Then, if hurt, respondents to the scene can scroll through the phone and get the number.

  • funKat By funKat

    Sure it's horrible to hear someone's death especially those of a loved one. This bill may help those who are the victim's kin but I guess it's going to be that easy. I guess still depends on the people on how they accept the news.

  • funKat By funKat

    Sure it's horrible to hear someone's death especially those of a loved one. This bill may help those who are the victim's kin but I guess it's NOT going to be that easy. I guess still depends on the people on how they accept the news.

  • BlondieKAA By BlondieKAA

    I understand where Wiant is coming from. I think that I were in the same situation, I would feel the same way. I guess I'm not sure that this bill will really change a whole lot or make it "easier" on a family who is grieving the loss of a loved one.

  • marina71702 By marina71702

    I think EMAC79's idea is great! It would be a hard situtation no matter what, but it would give emergency workers a way to contact family when they feel it is necessary, and time to do so.

  • JEM4612 By JEM4612

    In my family we use the "ICE" on the cell phone to indicate In Case of Emergency. I prefer that over putting something on the driver's license.


    I think this is a great idea - as long as there is a way to keep the information up to date - then all parents / loved ones would have a ICE at hand no matter what happens.

  • WorkingMom67 By WorkingMom67

    More power to her...amazing idea yet so sad that it had to come out of a tragedy. Good luck!!

  • hawthorneterp By hawthorneterp

    I like the idea of a bill to have a alternative way to contacting next of kin, but I do notlike the idea of it on my driver"s license. Too many people have access to the information. I am concerned some people could use the next of kins info to scam the next of kin. Maybe a better alternative would be the requirement that they are told in person rather than over the phone.

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