Mark James Piburn was hit by a distracted driver as he walked to the store in Polk County Florida on February 15, 2014. He died on the scene 30 minutes later from catastrophic injuries sustained as a result of the collision.
Mark was a remarkably intelligent and creative young man, with a contagious laughter and a courageous spirit. He was generous, gentle hearted and compassionate and brought joy to the lives of everyone who knew him.
Mark’s favorite childhood activities included playing chess, producing homemade movies and adding to his ‘Tasmanian Devil,’ or ‘Pinky and the Brain’ collections. From the young age of 10, Mark and his best friend used whatever recording devices were at hand to create home movies. It had been his dream since the age of 12 to own a film production company with his friend when he grew up.
Mark was an avid swimmer and competed with local community teams in central Florida as well as with the high school varsity team. He later earned a life guard certification from the state of Florida. During his childhood and early youth Mark worked after school helping his father with the family’s home repair business. After getting a Florida Merit Scholarship in high school, he went on to Full Sail University in Orlando where he earned an Associate Degree in Film & Video Production.
Soon after graduating, when Mark was only 25, he was affected by a debilitating disease. After his diagnosis, he forged a brave path of living his life with new challenges and an appreciation for employment with various companies that could facilitate his disability and special needs.
Mark was walking on the edge of the roadway on the night that he was struck since tall weeds grew beside the road. Since his death, Mark’s parents, Mark & Judi Piburn, cleaned the strip of roadway where his life ended and maintain it for the community’s sake to give others a safe place to walk. A memorial marker is in place. According to Judi Piburn, “Every life cut short by a distracted driver is one life too many.”
Visit the Facebook page created by Mark’s family, P.A.R.T. People Against Road Tragedy