FIRST ON 3: Crash video stirs funeral procession controversy
MARION CO, TN (WRCB) -- A near-deadly crash caught on tape is now raising questions about oncoming traffic during a funeral procession. There is a difference between manners and the law.
There is a sad irony to this story. The crash caught on tape happened right next to a funeral procession for a victim who died in a car accident himself.
A man out riding with his buddies stopped for a funeral procession on Suck Creek Road just over the Marion County line, when he missed a deadly crash by a matter of inches.
Cody Vice was using a helmet camera to capture the ride, and said he's thankful that wasn't his last ride.
"All of a sudden these tires, you know, screeching, and then a big collision. It scared me. That had to be one of the scariest moments that I've ever had riding," he said.
The video now has many talking about whether or not oncoming traffic should stop for a funeral procession. Hundreds have commented on WRCB's Facebook page.
"You can argue all you want about to stop or not stop for a funeral procession. This guy should be able to see a bright red motorcycle and a full size car in the road," said Chris Morrison in a post.
"Road rule or not... it is out of respect for the deceased. Pay attention!" posted Ashley May Cannon.
Another part of the video, moments before the crash, showed someone driving in the procession who was apparently trying to force people to stop by driving out past the center line.
"I really didn't see the flashers on anybody, cause they had made the turn right before I stopped. So I just thought it was a long line of cars going by. I had no clue it was a funeral procession," Vice said.
Another comment from Loren Pickett read, "I completely understand that respect should be shown for the deceased, but swerving at on-coming vehicles who were unaware is ridiculous. It is the law to proceed as normal when meeting a funeral procession whether you express southern hospitality or not."
If this happened in Chattanooga city limits, she would be right. The city's law states oncoming traffic must proceed as normal when meeting a funeral procession.
Law or not, many in the south still say it's the right thing to do.
"I always stop to show respect. I don't think it's courteous to keep going. I like to pull over to the side of the road to show respect," Vice said.
While he's thankful for his instinct to get over to the side of the road, he also said he feels for the family and friends of the deceased man who had to see that crash.
"I'm just sorry that the wreck had to happen in front of them. They were already sad that day, and that had to slow it down and had to happen right in front of them," Vice told Channel 3.
Tennessee state code doesn't have a section in its law like Chattanooga, which tells oncoming drivers to proceed as normal when passing a procession. Some funeral directors tell Channel 3 the south tends to have its own set of unofficial rules. They also said they discourage drivers from trying to force people to pull over.