Letter: “Her smile and laugh was the most contagious of anyone who knew her.”

This letter is to inform those who stand in question with regards to the Visalia Times Delta article regarding my daughter Dana. What was reported is far from reporting facts and truth, so I want to set the record straight.

If you recall when reading the initial article, they quoted a Lieutenant of Visalia Police Department simply stating the accident is under investigation. Then it reads the Visalia Police are investigating the crash as a possible suicide. Not a quote from any officer in particular because there isn’t an officer that said any such thing. In fact, when I talked with the same lieutenant a day after the article came out, he assured me VPD was not investigating suicide as there was no evidence of any such thing.

I also spoke with the two lead officers who also told me they were not investigating suicide and were actually upset with Visalia Times Delta and confronted them on their article. They were told by the Visalia Times Delta editor they were not retracting the article even though the Times Delta had no true source or facts to report such a thing.

Facts according to the Visalia Police Department final police report simply state that it was a traffic accident caused by human error, in which no one will truly know what caused the accident. Rumors of excessive speed have surfaced and I will reassure everyone that there was no evidence or fact to this rumor. But what I do know is that it was not done intentionally, like Visalia Time Delta would like you to think. Why would they do this? I believe they did this so that you the reader will click on the story and stay tuned for any updates. That’s it. What they need to know is my Dana was the happiest, strongest, free-spirited young woman that helped others anywhere and anytime. Her smile and laugh was the most contagious of anyone who knew her.

And then Visalia Times couldn’t stop there. Uninvited and not welcomed in any fashion, they showed up for my daughters service. They reported seeing Dana’s friends wearing yellow shirts, which they implicated was in support of suicide prevention. Are you serious? What’s wrong with them? Fact: Beautiful young girls gathered and asked Dana’s closest friends what Dana’s favorite color is. Best friends answered correctly with yellow. Anyone close to Dana knew her favorite color was yellow. She has multiple shirts, tops, sweatshirts and dresses in yellow. Her artwork was full of yellow. So the young ladies made shirts to raise money in honor and memory of Dana’s favorite color. That’s it. Also, VTD interviewed a young man that told them when he asked Dana if she was OK, she would tell him to leave her alone. Sorry, but not unusual. I’m proud to say that when Dana was having a bad day or something upset her, she came to me, her mom, her brother or her best friend. Our family was the best at communication and kept no secrets.

Now my belief. My family are strong believers in Christ and having Jesus in your heart. When you have strong faith in the Lord, you face the devil. Because of this horrific accident and dealing with what I’ve been dealing with, I believe Visalia Times Delta became the devil in this scenario. Its hard enough dealing with the death of my Darlin Dana but to add Visalia Times’ horribly-crafty writing to obtain more hits on their link. Pure devil.

Please don’t allow Visalia Times Delta to put questions in your head. You knew Dana the way you did and that’s what you need to remember. Please don’t let the devil tell you otherwise. The simple fact is that the Lord saw what Dana did for others here on Earth and He had big plans and assignments in Heaven for my Darlin Dana. Dana is an Angel of God and is with us all when we need her. She will and forever be my sunshine.

Jason Kennedy, Father of Dana

as well as our entire family

24 thoughts on “Letter: “Her smile and laugh was the most contagious of anyone who knew her.”

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  1. Everyone needs to be careful in jumping to their own conclusions The family has lost there daughter,sister and friend. It’s has to be the HARDEST time of their lives for the rest of their lives. Show some humanity. This could happen to you

  2. Sir and Ma’am,

    With great sadness and support from my family to yours, we support you. Our family doesnt know your beautiful Baby Dana but it sounds like she was a Blessing.

    Journalism is no long ethical nor investigative these days. No one would take their side for a second, who believes in the core values of this Country.

    I understand they exploited your Babys grotesque and untimely passing. However, I really don’t think anyone believes their story line. For what it’s worth…. you’ve shared your peace and you will fight for fairness to defend her name.

    But know …. no one believes them.

  3. I am so sorry you had to write that letter. Someone told me once ” Never believe anything you hear & only half of what you see” and before that I knew not to believe anything in the newspaper & I now know you can’t believe most of whats on line. Good people know better. God has Dana in the palm of His hand.

  4. My heart goes out to the family if this young girl. I did not personally know her but my granddaughter played volleyball with her. People can be so mean & hurtful at the worse of times. What the Times has done to this family & to try to tarnish the memory of this young girl is terrible. I lost my oldest grandson earlier this year also due to a traffic accident. May they find peace & healing in their faith to God.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss and for the pain inflicted by the people printing information that was untrue. They unfortunately have put sales ahead of people and that is tragic. I’m heartened to hear how beautiful your daughter is inside and out and know, as you do she’s bringing sunshine in the Lord’s kingdom. Bless your family, sending love and prayers.

  6. I lost my son earlier this year in an accident between a vehicle and pedestrian. I can relate to how badly all of you are hurting. I am saddened by the fact that these comments where included by VTD in their coverage of the accident. May God help your family during this time.

  7. Shame on the Times Delta! Your story was without facts and you do not care. I can only hope and pray the journalist behind this evil reporting never suffers such a life shattering tragedy. My deepest condolences to the Kennedy family. Time to boycott the Times Rag…..

  8. I do not know your family but we have 2 daughters one younger and one a couple years older than your Dana. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl. When I 1st saw the TD article I was disgusted that they would print it wether it was fact or not. It didn’t seem right that an officer would even make a comment to the press like that. I’m sorry you had to write this letter, it’s not anyone’s business. Times Delta violated your privacy at a horrific time. I’m so sorry this happened to you and your family.

  9. My heart breaks for your family, but I’m not sure this is VTD’s fault but actually social media’s fault. When we woke up that morning, around 6:30am and my daughter came down distraught to me to tell me something happened to Dana, and people were talking about it on Twitter. We ran up & down twitter in search of answers. It was the friends (some probably strangers jumping on ship) implying it was a suicide, also sharing Dana’s tweet earlier in the day, making assumptions and responding to it. And this was before we even made the connection to the car accident.
    For days, teens were implying it was a suicide on twitter. I really think social media and Teens of our community were the front of this before vtd. But I’m sure vtd saw and searched out comments on twitter and that’s where they got some of their information, sadly. Due to Dana’s age, none of this should have ever been even put in a newspaper. I am sorry for your family’s loss. My daughter loved Dana dearly.

  10. I know all too well from personal experience that VTD will do anything to sensationalize a story. Their false reporting and salacious headlines have brought lots of pain and anger. They should be ashamed of themselves for the junk information they publish!!

  11. VTD is nothing more than a click bate paper, who don’t report on the facts. They like to print gossip. Wish this never happened to you and your family and that you even had to write this.

  12. I’ve known Ellen most of my life and not for a minute did I believe the garbage spewed by the VTD. Shame on them. My prayers are with the Kennedy Family and your faith is inspiring.

  13. I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of you beautiful daughter, Dana. Shame on the VTD for using sensationalism to sell papers over
    the feelings of grieving friends and family.

  14. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for setting the record straight for VTD. A true loss of an angel, and may your family have peace.

  15. My most deepest and most sincere condolences to the Kennedy family!! I am so sorry for the tremendous loss your family has suffered. My daughter attended school with Dana from pinkham to whitney and has nothing but sweet memories to share of her. Thank you for setting the record straight!

  16. I am so sorry for loss. I have loss a child from a car accident. It was in another state. But I to know the pain of news paper not telling the story correct. When I read the piece I thought. How do they know. And for them to print it. Our Lord will keep your Dana in his arms forever until each of you in the Lord’s timing will join her. Prayers for u each minute of the day. God Bless

  17. This is so sad. I do not know you and I did not know your daughter. I am so sorry that you and your family have not been allowed to grieve the loss of your baby Dana due to the erroneous assumptions of the reporters representing the Times Delta. This is not the first time they have reported their assumptions and it continues. Due to the way it was reported. I felt so bad for your family to have to live thinking she committed suicide. I appreciate so much that you have chosen to report the truth of this horrible loss. My heart breaks for you but I know now that you can know that this wasn’t as was reported in the VTD. Just rest in the knowledge that Dana was Special and she would want to watch you move on and remember all the beautiful memories you must have of her. God Bless You and your family.

  18. Sorry for your lost. I no longer subscribe to any News Paper due to the fault spins of information. The News organization in general lack intergerity. So sorry for the additional pain the Visalia Times Is causing you.

  19. Well I know the Kennedy family. I met Jason and Ellen’s children years ago. However, I did not have a relationship with their children but I do know they are a your family. I know that Jason and Ellen were always at their sport functions. They worked their schedules to make sure they never missed a moment in their children’s lives. I can say I’m a Mom my children that are now grown they are my life and they always came first but if I ever in my life seen a family this was it they were the perfect family. Nothing mattered Jason and Ellen live for their children. I wish I was that perfect family. I’m sure they had their moments like all families do but this is the only family that I Know that could be that perfect Leave it to Beaver family that was once a television show. I can’t think of any kinder words to say. Jason and Ellen if you know them you gotta love them they are the most patient, understanding caring people I know.
    Moving on if you watch CNN news well you know what they say about them fake news. I work with Jason so we are always on the VTD with news many of times and when I say many I mean many VTD will print out an article with 1/4 of the correct incident and the rest leaving you with WTF pardon me, or like this didn’t happen I was there, where do they get this from or no one said that. There’s been many of times we’ve been upset by their fake news or what may be their little touch of spice to keep their readers interested. I myself when I read the article I was like why I can’t believe it if something was wrong and she couldn’t talk to her parents she would’ve talked to her best friend they hold all the secrets. No one kills themselves and not leave clues that something is wrong. So if you read VTD news be careful what you read and don’t believe it a hundred percent unless you actually have evidence of it. God Bless you Jason and family your baby is now your angel watching over you.

  20. Sorry for your loss and the times deltas need to make the situation worse. Cancelled the times delta as their sole purpose to create news based on no facts as opposed to reporting the news. So sad that the local paper feels the need to do that. Thanks for sharing the true story.

  21. I do not possess the words to express my heart ache and tears for your loss. You have been and will be in my prayers.

  22. I too lost someone. My husband in March and the cost this stupid little paper charged me to post an obituary is beyond ridiculous. My prayers for you and your wife, and your family. Prayers that God and his Angel’s will wrap their wings around you and bring you comfort and peace beyond comprehension. Amen

  23. I’m sorry for your loss, don’t even sweat the lies that comes from Visalia Times Delta, we’ve all seen them lie and misinform quite a bit!!!

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