Why We’re Here: Shawn Brown and JaKori Turner


On February 20, 1994, Shawn Brown spent the afternoon with her 10-week-old son JaKori and sister visiting family. They were just a few miles from their house when a drunk driver, driving 60 miles per hour on the wrong side of the street, struck their car head on. The impact was so hard that everything that was in the trunk flew out the back of the car. He was trying to beat an oncoming train to the next intersection, but they later learned that there was never a train coming, the train track arms were broken.

Ten-week-old JaKori died at the hospital from his injuries, Shawn’s sister was seriously injured, and Shawn suffered a fractured skull, broke both her upper and lower jaw, as well as a broken femur. Despite being pronounced dead twice, she survived.

Shawn worked with her local MADD advocate in California throughout the court process, where the offender was sentenced to four years in prison. But it wasn’t until she moved to Georgia that felt compelled to get involved with MADD. She called the Georgia office and they immediately invited her to share her story at a Victim Impact Panel.

Shawn continues to share her story at MADD events, and participates in the Atlanta Walk Like MADD each year with team JaKori’s Angels. She also owns a bakery and has dedicated a cheesecake called “My Little Pumpkin” to JaKori, from which a portion of the proceeds are donated to MADD.

Shawn says, “If my tragedy can help others in anyway I will use it as a blessing to others. If it can save a life I would be forever humbled and grateful.”


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