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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company


Family and friends honor Josey Lynn Scott and raise hit-and-run awareness


By Megan Whitworth

"Josey was something else, she was a spitfire. She was a character. She was the one that, in school if kids were getting picked on, she took up for them. If they were sitting by theirselves in the cafeteria, she would sit with them. The first day of school, she would show them around. On the other hand, she would put on a prom dress and be in the mud hole by the end of the night. That's just the way she was. She was rough and tumble, and the prettiest girl you ever saw, but she didn't back down." Those are the words "other mother" Amanda Scott said about her 19-year-old daughter Josey Lynn Scott, who was killed Feb. 10, 2015 by Larry Duncan in a hit-and-run accident that claimed the life of the young girl while she was jogging along FM 2666 near Shepherd. He was sentenced 19 years in prison, one year short of the maximum 20-year sentence allowed by law. Justice for Josey Family and friends have been fighting to change the laws ever since that tragic incident. "After she got killed, we were noticing every day on the news, there is a hit and run every day on the news in Houston. So I can't imagine what it's like in Dallas, Austin, and everywhere else. It's just crazy," Amanda said. "I started out asking for a $750,000 bond, and everybody is going like, 'Isn't that high?'" she continued. "We want it to be where people will say, 'Man, I'd rather stop and call 911, and face the consequences of what I did, than to come with a bond that high.'" Amanda added that if a person with prior felonies is involved with a hit-and-run, they shouldn't receive a bond. She also recommends a minimum of 40 years, maximum of what a judge or jury decides. Plus, she recommends that the guilty party shouldn't be eligible for parole for at least 20 years. "I just want people to stop, just stop," Amanda said. "It's not that hard. "In 2003 I lost two people to hit-and-run at the same time. I never paid attention to it after that. After Josey got killed, I started researching," family friend Ashley Sanders said. "She was killed Feb. 10, 2015; from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10 there was already 75 cases of hit and run in the state of Texas alone. Since then, there is now over 200 that are unsolved." Noting that change needed to happen, the Justice for Josey campaign was created to bring attention to hit-and-run awareness. Just on the website JusticeforJosey.com alone, faces of victims of hit-and-runs are shown – some solved, some unsolved. "Because of this campaign, Amanda has become the voice for so many families and so many victims. It's overwhelming at times. I'll go look at the page, I'll see the people – the victims and to know these people have been gone years with no answers," Sanders said. "I couldn't imagine being here, with them, knowing we didn't know who killed Josey. So, to k-now these people have gone five, 15, 20 years not knowing, but this campaign gives them hope. That's what we want to do. We want to give people hope that we will help find answers; we will help bring who is responsible. "It's not about one person; it's because of one person. It's actually because of two – because of Larry Duncan and it's because of Josey," Amanda said. "Because of what he did, and what happened to her, and now it's for so many." Riding for a cause To not only raise hit-andrun awareness, but to also raise money for scholarships for students in San Jacinto County and surrounding areas, friends and family of Josey are holding the Josey Lynn Scholarship Memorial Ranch Rodeo on July 28 and July 29 at the Coldspring Fair Grounds. For the last two years, each summer a ragball tournament has been held, but due to children wanting to participate, Sanders said they decided to hold a ranch rodeo for children of all ages and adults to participate in this year. On Friday, July 28 a Youth Ranch Rodeo will be held starting at 7:30 p.m., with books opening at 6:30 p.m. Milking, branding and mugging will be available for children eight and under; mugging, branding and sorting will be set for children 13 and under and also available for children 18 and under. Six and under will be eligible to participate in goat ribbon pulling and a stick horse speed race. On Saturday, July 29 activities will start at noon. The Ranch Rodeo for adults will begin at 7:30 p.m. A live auction will start at 5 p.m., and a silent auction will be held from noon till 8 p.m. Saturday. BBQ sandwich plates will also be sold from noon until sold out. Vendors will also be at the Ranch Rodeo, Amanda said, in which she also said that a portion of all sales will go towards the Justice for Josey campaign. Vendors will be able to choose how much is donated. Vendors and participating teams are requested to be registered by July 22. To register, contact Sanders at 281-622- 5524. Sanders also requests for participants with horses to make sure their coggins test is up-to-date. The cost to attend is: ages zero to three are free; ages four to 13 are $3; ages 14 and up are $5. Josey's nieces, Hayden and Raegan Berger, will be riding in the rodeo in their late aunt's honor. "Josey is just smiling down," Amanda said. "This is definitely something I think she would be in the middle of," Sanders added. The last two years the ragball tournaments have raised over $9,000. The first year Sanders said Justice for Josey campaign signs and billboards were bought that now can be seen all over San Jacinto County. The second year, friends and family donated half of proceeds to the medical expenses of Braden West. Friends and family also host the annual Muddin' for Josey Lynn each winter. Proceeds go to scholarships for students in Shepherd ISD and Tarkington ISD, where Josey graduated high school. This year $13,000 was donated to each district. "When Josey got killed, Amanda made a promise that Josey would live on, that she would make sure that everybody knew her name. Because of that promise, the hit and run awareness campaign was started. Then the mudding was created to help out with scholarships, then the ragball tournament for the same thing," Sanders said. "This is not only our way to give back to the community, but this is our way of keeping Josey alive. Because this is something she would have done any day of the week if she was still here. She would help anybody out. So to be able to help out our community and our surrounding communities, and do it in her honor is the greatest thing ever." To keep up with the latest updates from the Justice for Josey campaign, visit Facebook. com/JoseyLynnhitandrunawareness. Wearing Awareness Justice for Josey awareness bracelets are now available for $5. To purchase one, contact Ashley Sanders at 936-239- 3759.


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