Deadly crashes on the rise in Shelby County

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police say three people were killed in this crash on Summer Avenue last week, as the number of crashes are increasing across Shelby County.

Family members say 17-year-old Andrew Scroggins was one of those victims. Sadly he’s one of 120 people to die in a car crash in Shelby County this year.

“The Sunday or Saturday before we were celebrating his graduation and a week later we were mourning his death,” said Lorena Campbell, Scroggins’ grandmother.

Scroggins’ family say their lives changed, and it happened in an instant.

“He was loved by his teachers, he was loved by his friends and he was definitely loved by his family. He had his whole life ahead of him. He just picked his college out,” said Campbell. “We’re all pretty devastated. Mom can’t even think. She’s really distraught.”

Two other people were killed in the crash including another passenger in the car and the driver of the car hit. Highway Patrol troopers say these kind of crashes are on the rise in Shelby County.

Last year there were 246 deadly crashes that’s compared to 155 in 2019.

“Very concerned. Anytime that we lose a life on Tennessee highways we are concerned. We take it seriously,” said Captain Jimmie Johnson of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

THP say speeding and distracted driving are contributing factors along with a recent trend of drag racing.

They want drivers to think of others when on the road.

“With fatal crashes, it’s not just the people that are killed in the crashes, it’s families, it’s communities,” Johnson said.

Families like Andrews and the teen they say was driving the car they were in.

They’re hoping for more restrictions for teen drivers and awareness of the consequences that could follow.

“When I went to school they had driver’s training  in school. They showed us videos of crashes and made sure we understood that we’re in a deadly weapon and not only could we be killed but we could kill someone else’s loved ones.”

The Highway patrol says it’s bringing in more troopers from outside counties to increase its presence.

You’ll also soon see more messaging from it’s “Slow Down Memphis” campaign.

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