An 18-year-old man from Concord who died in a hit-and-run in 2020 is being honored in the Rose Parade in Southern California on New Year’s Day for his decision to donate his organs when he got his driver’s license prior to being killed.
Joseph Barratt died days after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in February 2020 in the area of the Port Chicago Highway on-ramp to eastbound state Highway 4. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the collision and has not announced any arrest in the case in the intervening years.
Ted Jung, who received Barratt’s heart via transplant when his injuries from the collision were determined to be non-recoverable, was chosen to ride on a float at the 135th Rose Parade in Pasadena at the start of the new year along with a floragraph portrait of Barratt made of spices, seeds and other organic materials.
The health care giant Sutter Health held a news conference this week in San Francisco along with the nonprofit Donor Network West to talk about the case and encourage more people to register as organ donors.
“I now have two birthdays and will never forget either,” Jung said in a statement.
Barrett attended Concord High School and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District also sent out information about the case in a newsletter this week that included a statement from Barratt’s mother Leslie Barratt, who said knowing that the world will learn about her son’s gift via organ transplant will be a gift to her.
“I am so grateful and feel so blessed that Joe has been chosen to be a face for the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade,” she said. “A grieving parent’s worst fear is that their child will be forgotten.”
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the CHP’s Contra Costa-area office at (925) 646-4980.