Father killed while walking across America in memory of dead gay son

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A father grieving the loss of his gay son has died in a road accident.

Joe Bell was struck by a truck in eastern Colorado as he walked along the shoulder of a highway on Wednesday evening.

The driver has been charged with reckless driving.

Mr Bell was midway through his 5,000-mile challenge to walk across America in memory of his son Jadin Bell.

The 48-year-old, who has another son and a daughter, came up with the idea for the two-year walk in a bid to raise awareness of homophobic bullying after struggling to come to terms with Jadin’s death.

The 15-year-old took his own life in January, having been bullied by classmates at his school in Oregon.

He was kept on life support for a few days, before Mr Bell and Jadin’s mother Lola Lathrop agreed to end treatment after doctors registered little brain activity.

Mr Bell had been due to talk to a youth group in Hugo, Colorado, on the night he was killed. A few hours before his death, he had posted a picture of a road sign on Facebook with the caption: “Making headway, one step at a time.”

A friend of Mr Bell put up an announcement about his death on a Facebook page chronicling the walk.

It said: “Thank you to everyone who has come here to support Joe’s family in this difficult time.”