‘All it takes is 3 seconds’: Slowing down to save lives

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:35 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There are new calls to move over and slow down for our first responders in action.

A firefighter in Edgefield County is recovering after being hit by a car while directing traffic. We’re still working to find out more about that firefighter and how they’re doing, but emergency officials tell us it could’ve been much worse.

Sherry Corbett and her husband, Jeff, own Wayne’s Towing. They are some of the first people to the scene of an accident, and just like other first responders, they have been affected physically and personally by distracted drivers.

“All it takes is three seconds to kill someone, I mean, and then you impacted their entire life. You stole their life. You stole their entire life with their children and family,” she said.

The Corbetts lost their son-in-law Jason a year ago. He was hit while towing a car on the side of the road. A few days after the one-year anniversary of his death, a distracted driver drove into their business.

“A distracted driver could have killed someone else because normally someone sits there every day and they just happened to not be there at 3 a.m.,” she said.

The Georgia Department of Transportation says from 2019 to 2020, the number of fatal accidents went up 13 percent. This year, we are already 5 percent ahead of 2020s numbers.

It’s not just Georgia. Across the river, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports 777 deaths in 2019 compared to 854 so far this year. And it’s not for a lack of design; officials say it’s a lack of attention.

“A lot of that is folks driving to fast for conditions the main thing is driving distracted which these days that means being on smartphones,” said Kyle Collins, a GDOT spokesman.

Drivers who leave a big impact on people like Sherry and her family’s business. They say it will cost them around $250,000 to fix their business.

“Whether its driving or like this your actions affect someone else,” she said.

GDOT says take a minute and put yourself in the shows of those first responders and construction workers or think of them as your own family – slow down and move over.

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