Deadly crash sparks driver awareness campaign

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Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn. -  If you need a reminder of just quickly your life can change, Tennessee State Trooper Brad Wilbanks wants you to remember David Scarborough.

"He's just trying to do his job and make a living for his family," Lt. Wilbanks said.

But Scarborough stopped living after he was hit from behind by a driver who told troopers he fell asleep at the wheel and drifted onto the shoulder.

"It's a hard part of our job to notify the family," he said.

Even more heartbreaking - Scarborough was working to remove a broken down jeep - the glass and several car parts still remain.

"Distracted drivers, sleepy drivers, drunk drivers are killing our emergency workers," Lt. Wilbanks told Local 6.

Wilbanks wants to remind drivers when you see flashing lights, pay attention, move over and slow down.

"They get behind the wheel, they get in their own little world, they are on cell phone, the radio turned up and they forget they are sharing the roads with others," he said.

Wilbanks plans to teach highway safety to emergency workers. He said Tennessee will be the first state in the country to educate responders about how to handle emergency situations.

"We are going to be on the same sheet of music. We realize if its the fireman, the policeman, the EMT's, less time we spend on that roadway, the less likely we are to be struck by a distracted driver," he said.

Wilbanks hopes to start the program soon, but he needs your cooperation, so he's asking you to put down your phone and unplug your i-pods.

"It's simple, slow down, move over," he said pointedly.  The Tennessee Highway Patrol says charges are pending against Christopher Farley, the driver who hit Scarborough.   

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