'Spirit Ride' tour aims to reduce number of first responders killed in roadside crashes

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Helping drivers stranded on the side of a busy road can be a dangerous business, so one group is working to remind people to follow the law: slow down or move over when approaching vehicles stopped on the side of the road.

"Spirit Ride" wants to remind everyone of that law, and of the people who lost their lives because it wasn't followed. 

More than 10,000 tow trucks are taking part in the national Spirit Ride tour to raise awareness of first responders who lost their lives while helping others. On Tuesday, Spirit Ride held an event at Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown, with a procession to Paoli, Indiana.

The procession carries a ceremonial "Spirit Casket" symbolizing first responders who lost their lives while assisting others during roadside crashes.

In 2014, 33 tow truck drivers were killed trying to help stranded drivers, and the numbers continue to increase. Statistics show tow truck drivers die on average every six days.

Organizers like Mike Corbin hope drivers will see the casket and remember to slow down or move over.

"I've stood out there on the highway, on the white line, when people don't move over," Corbin said. "You get trucks, tractor-trailers, cars going by at 65, 70 -- and believe me, it's no fun. Very dangerous."

Slow Down, Move Over is the law in all 50 states. It applies to anyone approaching an incident where law enforcement, emergency personnel or tow trucks are responding.

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