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Spratley’s death is a stark reminder of highway dangers

Monday, the family of George Spratley Jr. laid their loved one to rest.

Friends, family and a large contingent of the community gathered at the City Auditorium and en route to the cemetery to pay their last respects to Spratley and their condolences to his family.

Spratley, a long-time employee with Ward’s Towing Service, when responding to another accident on Interstate 20, was struck and killed by a vehicle that was approaching the accident scene and lost control on the slick highway.

It was not only a tragedy for those who knew and loved Spratley but a tragedy for the community. His death also serves as a stark reminder of the dangers those who respond to accidents or handle situations along interstates, major thoroughfares and heavily-trafficked roads face each day regardless of the weather or road conditions.

In 2007, Mississippi joined a number of other states when it adopted what is known as the “Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to move at least one lane away when they approach emergency vehicles that are parked on the roadside with lights flashing.

If drivers don’t make room, they risk getting ticketed.

The law is intended to protect ambulance crews, state troopers and other law enforcement or medical personnel, as well as tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.

There is nothing that can be done to bring George Spratley Jr. back to his family, but let his death remind us of the dangers, and curtail others from facing a similar fate.

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