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Spirit Ride campaign passes through Lynchburg

This is the casket used for the spirit ride campaign. It represents all the lost lives of Firefighters, EMS, Police and Towing Operators. 

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The spirit ride is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the "slow down, move over" law.

Dozens of first responders gathered at Bee Line towing Wednesday afternoon for the spirit ride when it got to Lynchburg. They held a ceremony honoring their coworkers and others who have died working roadside.

"We are not just talking about a law that exists but lives," said Ilce Corpin, one of the spirit ride coordinators.

Organizers use a casket to represent the lives lost.

"It's about life saving, that's all it is," said Jeremy Oakes. Oakes works at Bee Line Towing and says that just last year he was hit by a car while he worked.

"A driver lost control of their car, hit a truck and then that truck hit me. I went over the guardrail about 15 ft," said Oakes.

Oakes says he didn't fully recover until 5 months later but says he was one of the lucky ones.

"We've lost plenty of members of our own as a result of this so we take it very serious," said Michael Bailey with Virginia State Police.

"We want to come home. We have a job to do just like everybody else," said Oakes. "There's no reason that any of us should die on the side of the road we're just there to help someone whether it's police or fire or a stranded motorist with a tire change."

"They can't pay attention all the time. So its up to the general public that when you see that amber light, that blue light or red light to try and move over."

"It's important that people understand that their lives matter," said Corbin.

After the ceremony there was a procession down wards road of towing, fire and police vehicles.

The casket is now on its way to Staunton, VA to continue the spirit ride and continue raising awareness for the slow down move over law.

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