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Grieving father shares story of losing daughter to drunk driver, trying to save lives over holiday weekend

This year already, Tennessee Highway Patrol data shows fatal crashes statewide are up 24 percent from 2020 and 2019.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Drivers may have seen more police on the roads ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

The Knoxville Police Department upped their patrols, looking to catch reckless and intoxicated drivers. Their hope is to prevent serious crashes and save lives during a weekend when people are more likely to be in crashes.

This year already, Tennessee Highway Patrol data shows fatal crashes statewide are up 24 percent from 2020 and 2019.

Memorial Day marks the start of the "100 Deadliest Days" — a period in which the number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers increases until Labor Day, according to data from THP. 

During the 100 Deadliest Days, data shows a 22 percent increase in the number of nighttime crashes per day involving teen drivers.

More people are on the road now too, since it's the first holiday since many COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, which is why law enforcement is ramping up precautions. 

"You may only be going a short distance, but that short distance could make a world of difference," said Scott Moyers.

He lost his daughter, Jordan, in 2018. The family's car was hit by a drunk driver. 

"My daughter at 15 was taken far too soon by someone that probably didn't even think of the risk when they got behind the wheel," he said. "It's unimaginable just the pain that was caused and suffering because of one person's carelessness."

He wants people to understand the risks and dangers of driving under the influence, especially over Memorial Day weekend. He encourages everyone to ask for help if they need it. 

"Never be too much of a macho man or whatever it is to reach out and say, 'I've had too much,'" he said.

KPD is also urging people to follow safety guidelines and laws like buckling up, following traffic laws, putting away distractions like a cell phone and watching their speed. Most importantly, they're asking people to not drive under the influence. 

"Don't ever think you're a burden to someone because you could truly do so much damage in a moment," said Moyers. 

AAA advises parents to talk to teens about the dangers of risky driving and to teach by example. 

Moyers is also challenging bystanders to get involved if someone seems impaired.

"Don't ever be worried about losing a friend for taking their keys," he said.

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