My only precious son killed in a high-speed police pursuit.
(Left: Brandon Harper, 26, with his beautiful Mom, Catherine, on Christmas 2006.)

by Catherine Harper 

Brandon Louis Harper was 26 years old and on his way to get a Jumbo Jack at 10:00 p.m., when a 20-year-old boy being pursued by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department, hit my son at 87 miles an hour. Being the single mother of one son, and then having that one son taken from me was hard enough, but then realizing that the Sheriffs were pursuing the 20-year-old on two of the busiest streets in our city brought me to a new awareness
about the tragedy that surrounds high speed pursuits.

The chase ended shortly thereafter when the suspect ran a stop sign and struck a car ... and ended FOUR lives, all occupants in the car:  Bernice Martinez and her two daughters, Christina, 16, and Ashley, 14, and Desiree Guzman, 14, who was getting a ride home.  It was later learned that the suspect was driving a stolen truck. He is currently serving prison time for four counts of second-degree murder.

On January 20, 2007, so many lives were forever altered. Brandon touched so many lives.

News Stories 
Santa Maria man charged with murder for deadly car crash (Story is no longer available)
Though Garibay (the fleeing driver) faces murder charges, Catherine Harper, Brandon's mother, has publicly questioned law enforcement's handling of the situation. She has told reporters that she is speaking out because she wants to see a change in the protocol of high-speed chases so that other mothers don't have to go through what she is going through.
S.M. man victim in pursuit crash. 
From the above news story: Brandon Harper graduated from Righetti High School in 1998, said his mother, Catherine Harper. His father, Terry Harper, is an English teacher at Pioneer Valley High School. Harper's mother described Brandon as a sports fanatic who was a huge Oakland Raiders fan. He had worked as a carpenter for a construction company for three years. He was single and didn't have any children, she said.

Catherine Harper said her son, who was her only child, was charismatic and had many friends from all walks of life. "He loved bringing people together," she said. "He would hold barbecues at his house and gather a group of friends to watch the games."




 

Catherine Harper writes in an e-mail:

I found that innocent victims die and become maimed weekly, due to the pursuit "protocol" and the immunity that these government entities are allowed when "protocol" is questioned. The fact that Kristie's Law has not been established when Kristie's parents take this bill before committee each year, gives me even more strength to join with all of the families of innocent victims to rally to get Kristie's Law passed. For me it will also be Brandon's Law, as well as all the others who will feel it is also their loved one's law and that justice has been done. It gives me some peace, since I lost my son only 2 months ago, knowing that I am not alone in my grief and anger and that others feel as I do.

God Bless you all!!