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#redforcolten // The Carney family posed together, before the fatal accident. Photo Credit: Rockwall Herald Banner(family photo)

Red for Colten

The reason we wear read on Mondays

On Monday, January 30th, 2017, the Carney family’s life changed forever. 

That morning, their eldest son, Colten, was walking to work after having a flat tire and was killed by a car on the Interstate 30 service road. He was a Heath alumni– graduating class of 2011, and worked at the Rockwell American Manufacturing Company in Royse City. After the accident, Colten was tested for substances that may have impaired him, while the reckless driver that hit him, was not. 

Michaelle Carney, Colten’s mother and a teacher of United States History classes at Heath, decided to take action following her son’s passing by creating the Colten Carney Memorial Fund, so she and her family could help her community and state in her son’s name. The main mission of the foundation is to pass a law that mandates testing for all parties involved in a fatal accident: this is to prevent other families from experiencing the pain from wondering if their loved one was killed by a driver under the influence. So far, they’ve been in contact with some state representatives to get the ball rolling on creating legislation. 

During Colten’s tenure at Heath, he loved robotics and band, and via his foundation, his family hopes to eventually raise enough money for scholarships to students involved in those programs, as well as students with intellectual development disorder (IDD). Along with their other philanthropic efforts, Mrs. Carney and her family wish to help support assisted living communities for adults with learning disabilities, so they can aid other people like Colten–whom was a high-functioning autistic man. 

“We have found so much love and support from the surprising number of families in the area who have lost children,” Carney told the Rockwall County Herald Banner in 2018. “But if we can help to provide some closure to them, or help to send someone to college or trade school in honor of Colten, we’ll be happy.”

In order to boost awareness of their cause and honor Colten, the Carney family, friends, and other members of the community have taken to wearing red, Colten’s favorite color, on Mondays. 

Hawks, wear red for Colten, not only to honor a fellow Hawk– but to help support an honorable cause.

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