‘Catch you later’

Honoring Tim and Bridget O'Donnell

In Bayonne, February is “Catch You Later Foundation Month.”

“Members of the City Council and Public Safety Director Kubert joined me today as we declared February “Catch You Later Foundation Month” in Bayonne and presented the Proclamation to Pam O’Donnell,” Mayor James Davis said. “Pam lost her husband, Tim, and her daughter, Bridget, in a collision involving an impaired and distracted driver five years ago on February 22nd, and has become a staunch advocate against distracted driving.”

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A local tragedy

Tim and Bridget O’Donnell were killed in an automobile collision in 2016. They were stopped at a toll booth off of NJ Turnpike Exit 14C when they were struck from behind. 

The other driver, Scott Hahn, smashed into the O’Donnell’s car. The collision sent the O’Donnell’s car into oncoming traffic. Tim was declared dead at the scene. Bridget died on the way to Jersey City Medical Center.

Tim was a high school math and science teacher and softball coach. Bridget was five years old. A few months prior to the tragedy, Pam had recovered from cancer after being on her deathbed.

Hahn was sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for his responsibility for the crash.

A billboard honors Tim and Bridget and warns against distracted driving.

Pam, with her other daughter, Ali, 11, became advocates against distracted driving. She formed the Catch You Later Foundation to honor their memory and prevent such tragedies from happening to others. The foundation takes its name from Tim, who was not one to say goodbye but rather “catch you later.”

The nonprofit promotes driving safely and advocates against aggressive driving. Each year, the Catch You Later Foundation gives scholarships to college bound students in memoriam of Tim and Bridget.

Remembering Tim and Bridget

2021 marks a special anniversary for Pam. This year, Bridget has been dead longer than she had been alive.

Honoring Bridget and Tim on the anniversary of the tragedy, Pam seeks to keep their memories alive with a new campaign. Since the annual candlelight vigil could not be held this year due to COVID-19, Pam found another way to mark the occasion.

Signs memorializing Tim and Bridget have been requested and put up across the country.

She had message posted to a billboard on the highway near where the crash happened, thanks to donations by BCB Community Bank, among others.

She also launched her “Signs Across America” memorial campaign. Those who want them can request the lawn signs from the Foundation.

There are now signs in every state.

“We have sent out 100 signs across the states!!! A labor of love that took a village,” the Catch You Later Foundation said in a statement. “Not the way the O’Donnells planned on traveling to each state as a family of four, but it’s the consequence of the impaired driver and those who choose not to call 911 to report the aggressive driving they witnessed!”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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