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Mural with a message

From left: Jane Golden, Charles Jacoby, Nathaniel Lee, Karen Bush, Barb Baur, Brian King, Michele Fleming.
Charles Jacoby and his daughters (from left) Kaitlin, Gina and Sophia.
The family of Sebastian Plummer

A big crowd braved Tuesday’s heat to attend the unveiling of a mural featuring Mike Jacoby and Sebastian Plummer, who both died in a June 2020 accident near Bustleton and Grant avenues.

Karen Bush, Plummer’s mom and a police officer, wanted to raise awareness about seat belt safety, and received support from FOP president John McNesby and former City Councilman Bobby Henon.

Mural Arts Philadelphia, specifically Nathaniel Lee, created the mural, which was painted on the wall of the Ramp Playground building facing Solly Avenue.

Lee said it was an honor to paint the mural, adding that it was a collaborative effort.

The mural is across from Father Judge High School, where Jacoby and Plummer attended for a time. The teenagers are shown in Judge football uniforms, with halos above their heads and a football field in the background, with a seat belt about to be clicked in place.

“This mural is absolutely beautiful,” said Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia, thanking Lee and Tacony LAB’s Barb Baur.

Jacoby, 18, was planning to study business/marketing and play football at Millersville. Plummer, 19, was planning to obtain a commercial driver’s license and become a business owner.

The teens were back-seat passengers when they died in a two-car accident.

Golden, who called for a moment of silence for the victims, cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that most people who die in accidents are not wearing seat belts.

“Seat belts save thousands and thousands of lives each year,” she said.

Brian King, president of Judge, said the mural and its message are perfect for the 800 boys who leave the school each day and the young people who take part in Ramp programs.

Charles Jacoby, Mike’s dad, was moved by the turnout. He described his son and Plummer as “great young men,” and is hoping everyone – especially males ages 17-25 – wears seat belts. He called on drivers to make their passengers use their seat belts.

“Make sure they buckle up. Better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

Bush, telling the crowd it’s been a “challenging” two years, expressed gratitude to a lot of people, including staff at the Department of Parks and Recreation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Gift of Life. She’s a speaker for Gift of Life, and is proud that her son’s kidney is helping a Florida resident live a healthy life.

As for the mural, she said Lee did a great job.

“What a beautiful way to honor the lives of Sebastian and Michael,” she said. ••

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