Billboard atop Newark bridge honors memory of 2 loved ones killed in crash
A flashing billboard atop the Newark Bay Extension Bridge is giving one woman a way to honor her loved ones who died in a crash and spare others from feeling her pain.
Pam O'Donnell, of Bayonne, is trying to keep the memory of her husband Tim and daughter Bridget alive. Tim was a beloved school teacher and Bridget was only 5 years old at the time.
This month marks five years since the two died.
"And on February 22 of next week at 3:20 p.m. she will be one minute dead longer than she was alive, so this was a big anniversary," says O'Donnell.
The two were killed when a man high on drugs rear-ended them doing 50 mph in a 5 mph zone right before a toll. The driver that struck them was sent to prison for nearly 40 years.
"The person that killed half my family went out on a Friday night, made the choice to get high all weekend and he chose to drive home," says O'Donnell.
O'Donnell started a nonprofit, The Catch You Later Foundation. As part of the foundation, she speaks at schools across the state.
Driving under the influence and while distracted continue to be major problems in New Jersey. Despite fewer cars on the road during the pandemic, numbers show deadly crashes last year in the state up more than 5%.
O'Donnell is now going through life with her 11-year-old daughter, Ali. The two continue to make memories while always thinking of Tim and Bridget.