Crash on I-65 kills tow truck driver
Published 9:26 am Thursday, March 24, 2016
Alabama State Troopers are investigating a crash Wednesday night that left one man dead.
Gene Lee Schofield Jr., 27, a Fort Deposit man and a tow truck operator, was struck and killed by a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe while offering roadside assistance to a motorist with a malfunctioning vehicle, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Schofield’s wrecker had amber lights flashing.
The driver of the Tahoe has been identified as 36-year-old Shawn Antonio Davis, a Selma man who has since been charged with reckless murder.
The accident happened at 8:31 p.m. along Interstate 65 North at the 123 mile marker, near Greenville.
Alabama State Troopers said that Davis was under the influence of alcohol and refused to adhere to the state’s Move-Over law when striking Schofield. The Move-Over law reads:
Moving over or reducing speed when approaching law enforcement vehicles or emergency vehicles, etc.
(a) This section shall be known as the “Alabama Move Over Act.”
(b)(1) When an authorized law enforcement vehicle or emergency vehicle making use of any visual signals is parked, when a wrecker displaying amber rotating or flashing lights is performing a recovery or loading on the roadside, when a utility service vehicle operated by or on behalf of an entity providing utility services displaying any rotating lights, flashing lights, or other visual signals is parked on the roadside while performing tasks associated with the provision of utility services, or when a garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle is actively collecting garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling materials on the roadside, the driver of every other vehicle, as soon as it is safe, shall do the following:
a. When driving on an interstate highway or other highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle, the driver shall vacate the lane closest to the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer. If not safe to move over, the driver shall slow to a speed that is at least 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
b. When driving on a two-lane road, the driver shall move as far away from the law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, wrecker, utility service vehicle, or garbage, trash, refuse, or recycling collection vehicle as possible within his or her lane and slow to a speed that is 15 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or greater or travel at 10 miles per hour when the posted speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
(2) A violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25). Upon a second violation of this subsection, the fine shall be fifty dollars ($50). Upon a third or subsequent violation, the fine shall be one hundred dollars ($100).
(c)(1) The Department of Public Safety shall provide an educational awareness campaign informing the motoring public about this section. The department shall provide information about this section in all newly printed driver’s license educational materials after January 1, 2010.
(2) This section shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.
(Act 2009-577, p. 1695, §§1-3; Act 2012-409, p. 1114, §1; Act 2013-400, p. 1536, §1.)