OGDEN, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s been one year since Ross Booker was killed on the job, and his parents said they hold no ill will towards the driver who hit him.
“We hold no ill will against the 16-year-old driver that killed our son, none,” Marita Booker said. “That’s not going to bring Ross back.”
Booker no longer gets to sleep in his bed or spend time with family. But his mom said his physical absence is filled by his heavenly presence.
“We can’t see him, but he’s here,” Marita said.
On March 5, 2022, Booker was working with Tatman’s Towing. He responded to a crash and was cleaning up the mess when he was hit by a car; the State’s Attorney said the driver didn’t slow down. Booker died the next day.
“This past year has felt like five minutes,” Marita said.
“It’s every day we think of him, and we’ll never not think of him,” said Booker’s dad Dave.
But the Bookers have learned to give themselves grace during their grief.
“It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to not be okay,” Marita said.
They have learned the true meaning of friendship and community, even in Booker’s former boss at Tatman’s.
“How many owners would pray over you?” Marita asked. “And he did. He prayed for Dave and me and our son Anthony and Ross.”
Now the Bookers have a message for all drivers:
“It’s not important to get somewhere on time if you’re going to kill somebody if you don’t slow down,” Dave said.
“I want you to slow down and I want you to think about Ross Booker when you do,” Marita said.
They said there is no love stronger than a parent’s love, and the Bookers have learned the same goes for pain.
“He completed our family and without him, it’s not the same,” Marita said.
The driver who hit and killed Booker was not charged with a violation of Scott’s Law, but the family wants you to know how important it is.
When you see flashing lights, slow down and pull over.