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Memphis graduate shares his story

ESPN’s College Gameday joined with AT&T’s It Can Wait initiative to share the story of Memphis’s own Fletcher Cleaves. Cleaves had just received a college scholarship and been named a starter for the Lambuth University football team in 2009 when a car accident wrought havoc on his life and the lives of his parents.

Fletcher Cleaves was driving home after an evening of football practice and dinner with his friend on September 9, 2009. Cleaves remembers “the glow from the phone on the other driver’s face” before realizing that an oncoming car was drifting into his lane. Cleaves swerved to avoid a head-on collision, and instead flipped his car into an embankment alongside the road.

Cleaves was paralyzed from the chest down, and has had to undergo extensive physical therapy in order to regain the use of his arms. His parents also suffered, as they both lost their jobs as a result of providing the round-the-clock care Cleaves needed.

Not to be deterred, Cleaves has recently struck out on his own after graduating from the University of Memphis. He hopes to share his story in an effort to warn drivers of the potential danger of using a cell phone behind the wheel.



Teen killed in Memphis moped accident

A 15-year-old boy was killed in a moped accident that may have involved a hit and run, according to WHBQ on June 21.

The victim and his friend were riding their mopeds along University Street in Memphis when a 2000 Nissan Maxima began driving recklessly in their direction. The friend said it was swerving back and forth. The victim’s friend was able to avoid the vehicle, but he heard his friend’s moped crash behind him. It was not clear whether or not the victim’s moped was actually struck by the vehicle, or if the crash happened as an attempt to avoid it.

Memphis police said the boy succumbed to critical injuries at a local hospital the day after the accident.

Community members believe speed bumps should be installed on this road in order to prevent accidents like this from happening. This street is a popular place for teenagers to ride their scooters.



Death toll in tragic Amtrak train accident rises to eight

The number of people killed in the tragic train accident involving a train owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corp. rose to eight from seven with the discovery of a body in a destroyed rail car on May 14, according to the Watertown Daily Times.

The train crash was the deadliest train accident in the United States in almost six years and may have resulted from the speed it was traveling as it rounded a curve – 106 mph.

According to an interview by his attorney on ABC News, 32-year-old Amtrak engineer and assistant conductor Brandon Bostian incurred a concussion in the derailment, requiring him to undergo 14 stitches in the head and several stitches in one leg. Reportedly, he does not remember the collision itself and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.



Elderly woman killed in Memphis multi-vehicle accident

Sixty-seven-year-old Florence Calloway lost her life in a multi-vehicle accident on Sam Cooper Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee, Local Memphis reported on March 27.

According to the police’s preliminary investigations, a four-vehicle crash on westbound Sam Cooper Boulevard caused one vehicle to propel over the median and into oncoming traffic. Three other women were taken to the hospital, although fortunately their conditions were not reported as critical.

A witness to the incident, Andrea Westbrook, said she saw the fatal crash in her rearview mirror. Westbrook said cars began to stop, so their occupants could help evacuate people from a red van, as they were concerned it would catch fire.

The eastbound lanes of the boulevard were closed down until 6:30 p.m. to clear the site of accident debris.

One of the drivers involved in the incident, although it was not clear from the report which one, was cited for driving on a suspended license, financial responsibility, and a registration violation.