Sunday, March 13, 2016


Raechel and Jacqueline Houck 

I am often asked to write about victims experiences and that of their families. All are worthy of being written about, but that is not possible for me to do. 

In particular, because of the death of my son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff at he age of 30, which was also caused by malfeasance,  I very much identify with the excruciating realities of our loss, of the endless intense suffering damages of a parent's worse nightmare that the Houck family and my family will live with for the rest of our lives.

Today's post is about two young women, Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were just 24 and 20  years old when they were killed in a horrific tragedy that could have been prevented. 

It's a simple solution to prevent what happened to their daughters from occurring again but sadly, politics, greed, corporations, and the zero value that society places on victims lives are preventing the actions necessary to make sure this never happens again to someone else's children.

It's also an easy, 10 second task that is being asked of you :


Petitioning Congressman Fred Upton

Support the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act

An unrepaired, recalled Chrysler rental car killed both of my beautiful, talented, treasured daughters, Raechel and Jacqueline. Chrysler issued a safety recall notice about 30 days before they rented it, but the rental company never bothered to get the free repairs done first.

Federal law prohibits car dealers from selling recalled new cars, but there is no similar law to stop rental car companies from renting dangerous recalled cars. And now that Congress is finally close to passing a bill that would change that, key members of Congress need to hear from everyone who cares about rental car safety.

Raechel and Jackie were just 24 and 20, full of life, and devoted to making the world a better place. They were on their way back home from visiting their father, younger brother, and me when the Chrysler PT Cruiser they rented caught fire. It had been recalled for a defective steering component prone to leaking, causing an underhood fire and loss of steering. The car veered across the median and crashed head-on into a tractor trailer. The big rig drivers and other witnesses said the car was on fire before the crash.

Some auto manufacturers and car dealers are aggressively lobbying to block this bill, named after Raechel and Jackie, that would make it a violation of federal law for a rental car company to rent or sell recalled cars with lethal safety defects, until the defects have been repaired.
They have the ear of Congressman Fred Upton, the powerful Chair of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, which may decide its fate.

Eventually, the rental car company admitted 100% liability for their deaths, and years later, they also apologized to me. They’re even working with me to pass The Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act, which has passed in the Senate with bipartisan support. The House will vote soon as part of the transportation bill being debated this very moment.

And while the rental car companies and auto manufacturers like GM and Honda support this bill, other auto manufacturers and dealers are fighting against it.

Everyone who rents a car deserves one that is safe, and free from known lethal safety defects. Nothing can replace my daughters, but together we can keep other families from suffering such a needless, horrendous loss.

Please, join me in calling on Congressman Fred Upton to support Raechel and Jackie’s bill, before someone else is seriously injured or killed.
These parent's are fighting to make sure that this doesn't happen to your loved ones.

They are also up against powerful special interest groups who have not a shred of humanity when it involves the death of human beings that can be prevented if stronger laws were in place to protect us.
Surely, you can take the 10 seconds it will require to sign their petition and protect your own family's lives.