In Memory of John Phillips

Why would a 40 year old Police Veteran tell you about the 27 year old son of the founder of Pursuit Watch?

I detailed my involvement and friendship with Jim Phillips here and when Jim suddenly died of a heart attack a few years ago I inquired about honoring his efforts and maintain the website that he created after the tragic death of his 21 year old daughter from a police pursuit.

That is when I met his son, John Phillips. John courageously took up the efforts of his father at the same time most kids would be enjoying college life and the start of a career.

I corresponded with John a few times and I was always impressed with him. Apparently, others were as well. He was a recent graduate of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship program, where he worked for two governors and helped shape policy for the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.

John had his life in front of him but that, unfortunately, would not be the case. On August 4, 2011, John died of a stroke.

I last spoke to John about a year ago when we were on a radio program together. As usual, it was great to talk to him. You can listen to that episode here and I specifically talk about my relationship with John and his dad at minute 15.

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So here I am wondering. Wondering why God permitted me to live a life of 40 years as of last week with a wonderful wife and kids and my friend John, the picture of health, dies so suddenly. It would be the 3rd “sudden” death that his mother has endured in the last decade. In 2001, it was Sarah, at the age of 21 – John was 17 then. A few years ago, it was my friend Jim and her husband and now John.

My heart is broken. I am sad. And I am also very glad. I am so glad that I met Jim and I met John and I get to tell you how special they were.

I don’t know your beliefs but I believe in God and I specifically believe in the God of the Bible and that God…the only God…is a healing God and He is a saving God.

My prayer is that God will put His hand on the Phillips family during this time and that anyone reading this will realize and understand that every day is a gift and we must understand where that gift comes from and with that we must understand eternity.

Let me encourage you to visit and find out who God is.

Travis Yates

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