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The Gene Hobbs Tragedy: Wife recognized for sticking her neck out

By Chad Hobbs

 The Giraffe Heroes Project is a global nonprofit organization that encourages today’s heroes and strives to train tomorrow’s by sticking their neck out to make a difference, hence the choice of a giraffe as their symbol. The organization honors Giraffe Heroes biannually whom they view as “compassionate risk-takers who are largely unknown people who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good, in the U.S. and around the world.”

 “When we tell their stories over social and traditional media, others are moved to stick their necks out too, helping solve significant public problems important to them,” stated the organization. “As long as there are Giraffe Heroes, there’s hope. Telling the stories of heroes may be the oldest strategy in the world for motivating people into brave, compassionate action — and it works.”

The newest class of Giraffe Heroes were named this month and among the 11 inductees was Meade County resident, Lisa Hobbs. The organization wrote this about why she was honored:

“Lisa Hobbs was widowed by a Kentucky public works truck that backed up—silently—over her husband, Gene, who was working the ground crew behind the truck. An eyewitness said that no one heard a backup signal, the familiar beeping noise trucks make all over the US when they go into reverse. A state trooper on the scene confirmed that lack of a warning.

But when a Kentucky inspector for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “investigated.” He didn’t interview the eyewitness, didn’t test the truck’s backup beeper, and didn’t consider any possible safety violations at the worksite. An administrator at the agency said that the truck’s beeper was working and that Gene Hobbs just “zigged when he should have zagged.”