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History

The Heart of a Hero Inspires the HERO Campaign

The Elliott Family at John’s Graduation from the Naval Academy.
From Left: Bill Elliott, Jennifer Elliott, John Elliott, Muriel Elliott

Early on the morning of July 22, 2000 John Elliott was on his way home to New Jersey from Annapolis, Maryland for his mother’s birthday when he was killed in head-on collision with a drunken driver. The other driver had been arrested earlier in the evening on DUI charges and was then released to a friend. This friend allowed the intoxicated driver to get back behind the wheel of his SUV. He resumed driving, struck John’s car, and killed them both.

John had just recently graduated with merit from the Naval Academy with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and was named the Outstanding HERO (Human Education Resource Officer) of his class for his service to his fellow midshipmen. As a HERO, John was a peer counselor and advocate for his classmates, helping them with academic and personal problems.

Established in October 2000 in memory of John,  the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® dedicates its work to prevent drunken driving tragedies by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers.